Movies based on Valve's Half-Life and Portal video game franchises are in the very early stages of development, Star Trek and Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams has told Polygon.

"It's as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets," said Abrams referring to movie plans revealed during an earlier DICE keynote by himself and Valve co-founder Gabe Newell.

"We are really talking to Valve, we are going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas," he explained.

"Both a Portal and Half-Life movie are things I want to see," Abrams said. "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."

"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 favourite games," Abrams added. "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."

It's a major turnaround for Newell, who back in 2010 slammed video game movies, but revealed at DICE that Valve "reached the point that we decided to do more than talk".

The partnership appears to be working both ways, with Abrams keen to work with Valve on a game idea of his own, said to explore "the limits of gaming in a perfect way".

Source: Polygon