Bad Robot Heads To Valencia

Portal: No Escape man lands the gig

Has Hollywood found the next Neill Blomkamp? Like the South African director, whose short Alive In Joburg caught the eye back in 2006, Dan Trachtenberg made a big splash with Portal: No Escape, a short based on the dimensionally-abstract computer game. Now he’s getting a shot at a feature length project. It’s called Valencia and it’ll be the work of J. J. Abrams’ Bad Robot marque for Paramount’s indie(st) arm, Insurge.

With a modest $5m budget, Trachtenberg will tackle a scenario in which a teenage girl awakes in a cellar after a car crash to discover from a strange caretaker that society has been devastated by nuclear attack. We’re assuming it’s a psychological thriller that will tackle some of the same themes of captivity and escape as that Portal short. The script is the work of Dan Casey, who reshaped an earlier draft by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

Until now, Trachtenberg has been something of a nearly man. He was linked with Universal sci-fi Crime Of The Century and was a name that came up in association with the current dormant Y: The Last Man adaptation. Anyone familiar with inter-telly programme The Totally Rad Show or the Stateside podcasts he’s appeared on will be aware of his work. He’s also directed a number of commercials. He’s certainly a talented guy, as Portal: No Escape demonstrates.