January 23, 2016
A Cloverfield/Portal connection
While I was researching the still shocking revelation that a Cloverfield sequel was happening I realized that the director, Dan Trachtenberg, sounded kinda familiar. He used to co-host a couple podcasts I watched back in the late 2000s (the Totally Rad Show, and later GeekDrome), part of the Revision3 podcast network.
However, I was more interested to read that more recently he directed a pretty amazing short film based on the video game Portal. (Portal, along with Portal 2, happen to be my all-time favorite video games!) The film, Portal: No Escape, is excellent. It captures the essence of the game perfectly. This gives me some confidence that the Cloverfiled sequel could be very good. Check out Portal: No Escape.
Portal is set in the Half Life video game universe, and so this film based on Portal reminded me of the fan-films by the Purchase brothers, which are set during the events of Half Life. Produced for next to nothing, the two-part film series Escape from City 17 were so well done, they were mentioned on Valve's very own blog. Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of Escape from City 17.
I hope that this Cloverfield micro-budget sequel generates enough money so Bad Robot can make a feature length Portal film! There were conversations not long ago between Gabe Newel of Valve and Abrams about working on a film version of Portal and/or Half-Life. Watch this video of a convention between Abrams and Newel about video game and film possibilities. Perhaps there could be a cross-over between Cloverfield and Half-Life. The Cloverfield monster does seem very much like a creature you might encounter in Half Life, it would fit right in.
Play the game
I could go on and on about how awesome are Portal and Portal 2. If you consider yourself a casual gamer and have never experienced either, then I have to recommend trying out The Orange Box. For just $20 you can get the original Portal, Half-Life 2 (including Episodes 1 and 2), and Team Fortress. You can buy it through Valve's Steam video game service for PC and Mac, or pick up a copy for Xbox or Playstation. It really is the best deal in video game history.