Years ago, at the 2013 DICE Summit, J.J. Abrams took the stage to reveal that his studio was working with Valve to create two movies: one in the Portal universe and one in the Half-Life universe. That’s basically the last we heard of the projects, but at the Westworld premiere this week (an upcoming HBO show on which Abrams is an executive producer), IGN took a moment to ask Abrams about their status.

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After confirming that both films are “still very much in development,” Abrams told IGN: “We have a meeting coming up next week with Valve, we’re very active, I’m hoping that there will be a Portal announcement fairly soon.”

Fairly soon! That’s way sooner than “not yet,” which was his response the last time he was asked for a substantial update on the progress of the films. IGN then pressed Abrams, asking whether or not the movies would follow the games:

“We are having some really interesting discussions with writers, many of whom…once you said you’re doing a movie or show about a specific thing that is a known quantity you start to find people who are rabid about these things,” Abrams responded. “As someone who loves playing Half-Life and Portal, what’s the movie of this, it’s incredible when you talk to someone who just ‘gets’ it, it’s like, oh my god, it’s really the seed for this incredible tree you’re growing.”

It’s not a trailer or a release date announcement, but just knowing that the projects are still “very much” alive will satisfy many fans.

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