Halo Movie Lives On, Well, SortaS

In August 2009, Microsoft said that its plans for a big-screen version of Halo were "on hold". This past spring, Microsoft expressed interest in doing a Halo flick "when the time is right". Is the time right yet?

"We're still interested in making an excellent 'Halo' movie," Frank O'Connor from Micrsoft's Halo branch, 343 Industries, tells Variety in a recent interview. "We've created an awful lot of documentation and materials to support a feature film. We have a good idea of what kind of story we want to tell, but won't move on it until there's a great reason to do it. We're in no particular hurry."

According to O'Connor, a movie version would not be "a verbatim retelling of the game". Microsoft is "intently watching" the television business as a potential platform to tell the Halo story.

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 summer 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 brokedown. 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."

'Halo': the care and feeding of a franchise [Variety via Latino Review]