J.J. Abrams has been making the interview rounds of late, stumping for the 10th anniversary of his Spielberg pastiche Super 8. Said discussions have, among other things, allowed Abrams to admit that maybe—just possibly—there may have been some structural flaws with the Star Wars trilogy he essentially masterminded. It also allowed him to address some of the roughly jillion unproduced properties that he and his production slate, Bad Robot, have been attached to over the years, including a movie based on Valve Software’s 2007 video game triumph Portal. (And yes, that was a “This was a triumph” joke.” You may now consider our quota of played-out Portal jokes for this article fulfilled.)
Somewhat amazingly, given that Portal is 14 years old, and Abrams’ attachment to its purported film franchise happened way back in 2013, he was insistent in a recent interview that forward progress on the project is still happening. This is per IGN, who Abrams told, “We actually do have a script that’s being written for the Portal movie now at [Warner Bros.]. We’re really excited about the take and the pitch, so it feels like that thing’s finally on the rails.” Which isn’t much—there’s no word on a writer, and no hints that anyone involved in the games franchise, most notably voice actors Ellen McLain, J.K. Simmons, and Stephen Merchant, are actually onboard—but still genuinely more than we expected in the year of our lord 2021. (Meanwhile, the Half-Life movie Abrams was reportedly also on the hook for sounds totally dead in the water.)
Of course, Portal does have one thing that J.J. Abrams simply can’t resist: A protagonist, Chell, who doesn’t have a last name. God, J.J. Abrams hates it when characters don’t have last names. He’s got to fix it. He’s gonna. We’re calling it right now: Portal, starring Chell Spacepuncher—in theaters 2024.