Update: It looks like this was more than just a gag as J.J. Abrams is actually in talks with Valve about developing movies based on Half-Life and Portal.
"It's as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets," Abrams told Polygon shortly after the Keynote. "Which is that we are really talking to Valve, we are going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas."
"And both a Portal and Half-Life movie are things I want to see," Abrams added. "We're also aware of the cautionary tales of movies that became games and vice versa. Our goal here to is to treat the world Valve has created in both these properties like anyone would a book or some great story that comes from a pitch or original script - just to treat it with the respect they treat their games and their players with."
Previously, Valve had always been opposed to letting an outside party develop its beloved sci-fi property into a movie.
"Every treatment that I've seen for a Half-Life movie has stunk so badly I didn't even want to be in the room with the script! I mean, it was just awful," Valve's community man Doug Lombardi told Eurogamer back in 2004.
Now Newell is saying, 'We reached the point that we decided to do more than talk."
This is a two-way street as Abrams is not only interested in bringing Valve's properties to the silver screen, but he'd like to get into game development, too. He said he wants to make a game that explores "the limits of gaming in a perfect way."
"We're not looking to make a movie in the gaming world, we're not looking to impose what we do on that, we're looking forward to taking some of our strengths and collaborating with some of these incredible minds that make some of my favorite games," Abrams explained. "Just as I think they're looking forward to taking some of their stories and the universe for some of their games and applying it to movies. I think they need to both be approached very differently."
Original story: J.J. Abrams, the man who may unite Star Trek and Star Wars fans once and for all by directing entries in both properties, may also unite gamers and movie buffs by collaborating with Valve founder Gabe Newell on both mediums.
During DICE's Keynote address, the two legendary figures bantered about the pros and cons of each other's respective mediums (as reported by Kotaku). The meeting ended with the following exchange:
Abrams: "There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on."
Newell: "We're going to find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie."
Importantly, Joystiq had a slightly different transcription of Newell's quote. That report claimed he said, "We're going to try and figure out if we can make a Half-Life movie or a Portal movie together."
Thus it's unclear if we're talking about one series or two making the transition to film - or it could be none at all as the two men were merely entertaining the notion. Was this simply friendly stage banter, or a teaser for an actual announcement?
We've followed up with Valve about this, but knowing the two men's penchant for utter secrecy, it's unlikely we'll hear anything concrete about this for some time. One can dream, though, eh?