So last week it was announced at D.I.C.E that J.J. Abrams was going to make movies based on the Portal and Half-Life franchises. After viewing this past episode of the Dtoid show (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVaIv022EC4) , it made me think of two questions; Can it be done? and Should it be done?
After watching this last episode of Dtoid I kind of agree with both Max and Tara. I agree with Tara that portal is based on how the game is played. The relationship in the games between Chell, Wheatley, and GLaDOS works well because of how the experience of the game is created. Now I have seen the short fan film that was made and that worked pretty well. To carry that experience into a full length feature film though seems to not make sense to me.
Max brought up a good point to this idea. He suggested that they should make one about Cave Johnson. After thinking about it this could be a really good idea. When playing through Portal 2 in the background you would get the back story through what Cave Johnson had recorded. Exploring the history of aperture science would work in a film because its more about the people than the technology. The portals themselves would not be seen in the film that often maybe not even until the end of the film. Having this film could introduce the general audience into wanting to play the Portal games to experience the rest of the story.
One film like this would be a good idea, but that's it. It is like using one form of the media to support the other. There should not be any other feature films that try to cover what takes place in the Portal games. Even if the film needs to be released as a smaller feature that is fine. There is that chance that if successful Hollywood would want to ruin the reputation of the games by making more films that repeat the story of the games. As a fan of the games I would appreciate something like this coming out as a live action film just for a different kind of experience.
If they ever decided to make a film based on the games themselves then they should make it a small released CG type. This seems to be a new trend recently with the Resident Evil series and Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker for example. Now I have only seen one of the Resident Evil CG movies, but I did enjoy it. If the other films are of a good quality then maybe more of these types should be made instead of trying to make every game into a live action feature film. A Portal film of this type should follow its predecessors by enhancing the story instead of adapting the already existing story.
So I believe that a Portal film can be made just not the type that tries to be a videogame movie. It could be a great dramatic film that focuses more on the characters than the technology. If anyone could make this work I think using J.J. Abrams is a good idea. His past films have focused on characters in a world with superior technology and its what he does best. I also believe that a Portal movie should be made to add to the story that is Portal.
Now having said that not every videogame should be made into a movie. Just the one that are capable of having a decent story outside of the videogame form of media. Some could say most games have that, but we should be careful in the future to try and not make a film or book out of every popular franchise.