Once upon a time, Microsoft was going to make a big budget Hollywood version of the Halo franchise. Until it spectacularly fell apart. That doesn't mean it won't ever happen, says the company.
Back in 2005, a film version of Halo was first penned by Alex Garland, writer of The Beach novel and 28 Days Later screenplay, and it was slated to be released by 20th Century Fox. Acting as producer Peter Jackson and his WETA studio began making props for the Halo film. And filmmaker Neill Blomkamp began making Halo short films for Microsoft.
But by 2007, it seemed that the project has stalled and wasn't going to happen, and the director said the project was "entirely dead". Bloomkamp and Jackson went on to create sci-fi flick District 9. Blomkamp told MTV in mid 2009 that he "spent five months working on it [the Halo film] , like, 24 hours a day" only to have "the rug pulled out from underneath" him. That's one of the reasons it will be "difficult" to revisit that Halo movie, at least in its current incarnation, particularly on top of the "politics" involved.
When the Halo movie didn't happen, the game Peter Jackson was going to develop also ended up collapsing. The entire situation seemed to have left a bitter taste in the mouths of those involved. Former Microsoft exec Peter Moore told Kotaku that he was "pissed" that the Halo movie broke down. When asked why Microsoft didn't just finance the film itself, Moore replied, "You can't make games and make movies. It's not our business."
At a recent conference, Frank O'Connor from Microsoft's Halo branch, 343 Industries, said they were going to make a movie "when the time is right". Continuing, O'Connor added, "We own the IP. If we want to make a movie, the scale of all the other stuff that we do changes dramatically. We make tens and tens of millions of dollars on ancillary stuff, toys, apparel, music and publishing. If we do a movie all of that will grow exponentially. We have some numbers if we do a movie, but it changes everything. It also changes our target and age demographic."
There have been rumours that Steven Spielberg has been in talks to oversee the production of a new Halo film.