DreamWorks Hopes to Revive ‘Halo’ Movie

Published 4 years ago by

halo movie release date DreamWorks Hopes to Revive Halo Movie

Microsoft has remained steadfast in their declaration that there’s no rush to turn their $2 billion video-game franchise Halo into a movie. Yet, when a title like the recently released Halo: Reach grosses $200 million on its first day in stores, Hollywood is bound to take notice.

Although previous attempts to bring this lucrative property to the big-screen have been somewhat disastrous, Vulture is reporting that DreamWorks is interested in giving the Halo movie another shot. They’re also taking a slightly different approach to their adaptation in hopes of succeeding where other studios have failed.

Previously, Fox and Universal partnered to make a deal with Microsoft for the film rights. Peter Jackson was soon brought on as a producer and Neil Blomkamp was later hired to direct. A year later, enormous sums of money had been spent on development and the higher-ups at Fox called a meeting to express their concern over these costs as well as the gross-participation deals in place for Jackson, Microsoft, Jackson’s producing partner Fran Walsh, and original producer Peter Schlessel.

When these discussions failed to produce a satisfying resolution, Fox threatened to back out of the film. Universal became understandably nervous about footing the bill all by themselves and were forced to ask Jackson and the other producers to cut their deals – all of them refused.

When Fox refused to share the cost of the screenwriting and producing fees that had already been spent, Universal sued. A legal maelstrom began and that version of the Halo movie was history.

halo movie master chief DreamWorks Hopes to Revive Halo Movie

Another obstacle in getting the film made stems from Microsoft’s desire to control every aspect of the Halo franchise. They’re not interested in selling the rights and sitting back while someone produces a subpar adaptation that’s Halo in name only. They’d rather the film be an integrated and faithful extension of their brand that adheres to the franchise’s continuity and rules.

While this no doubt sounds like great news to fans of the games, you can imagine how restrictive such an arrangement might feel for a filmmaker – especially the sort of auteur a Halo movie probably requires if it’s truly going to work.

DreamWorks does have Steven Spielberg in their corner (it’s also not the first time Spielberg and Halo have been mentioned together) and as Vulture notes, if anyone has the authority to take control of the film and ease Microsoft’s concerns it’s him. But how exactly is DreamWorks going to sidestep all of the legal red tape and avoid getting sucked into the same bitter battle that Universal and Fox did?

Evidently, they’re not going to be adapting any of the games. Instead, DreamWorks is focusing on the Halo novels – a move that keeps them free and clear from any past deals. Interestingly, screenwriter Stuart Beattie at one point wrote a Halo: The Fall of Reach spec-script based on the novel of the same name, with the hopes of making it the first chapter in a trilogy.

halo movie updates DreamWorks Hopes to Revive Halo Movie

Obviously DreamWorks would be starting from scratch and there’s no indication of which of the novels they’re looking at, but The Fall of Reach does seem like a logical starting point for a film series.

While Vulture refers to the tie-in novels as literary “PuppyChow”, many fans have been quick to point out that these books aren’t actually all that terrible. Shakespeare they’re not, but several of them could act as a perfectly serviceable template for a Halo movie.

However, this approach does contradict Microsoft’s desire to forgo using existing source material in favor of telling a brand new story set in the Halo universe. It should be interesting to see how this deal pans out so we’ll keep you updated as more details emerge.

In the meantime, let us hear your thoughts on this possible new direction for a Halo movie.

Source: Vulture.

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TAGS: halo

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  1. I hope they keep it in line like the trailers of the said video games series. They were by far superb and will definitely have my attention.

  2. I feel as if there is no real need for a “Halo movie” due to the fact the video game medium is just as good as a “film” version, if not better. You know what I mean?
    It’s hard to explain, and coupled with the fact that video games don’t translate well into Hollywood films (and there are a multitude of examples…). Video games and movies are great, but they’re great when they are separate.
    They are like parallel lines of greatness; each running in a nice direction together, but never touching.

  3. I don’t know why anyone would say the books are bad, specifically the Fall of Reach. That book was totally rad, and I’m not even a huge Halo player. Actually, it’s probably the big Halo fanatics that don’t like the books.

    Either way, critical reception to The Fall of Reach was completely positive. And I think it would be damn cool if they adapted it to the big screen.

  4. It needs to be something w/o Master Chief. Fall of Reach would be fine…

    • Fall of Reach involves Master Chief.

      • It indirectly involves chief i believe. The only thing i heard about with chief and reach was that his best friends died their and he left before it was destroyed. Reach focused on Noble Team and other Spartans.

        • dude the book Fall of reach focuses on the master chief and his eventual growth into a spartan and deals with the fall of reach mainly at the end of the book. Halo: Reach is the game that focuses around Noble team, a squad of spartans completely unrelated to the master chief and shows how Reach fell from beggining to end. I think you understand this but only if you read the book.

        • The game Halo: Reach focused on Noble. Fall of Reach is about John-117 (Master Chief’s) acquisition by the Spartan program and the development of that crew, and their subsequent baptism by fire on planet Reach.

  5. I don’t know how I feel about telling a “brand new story.” That’s partly why comic book adaptations are usually terrible: they stray too far from rich source material.

    Be smart, Microsoft, and work with what you have.

    Bane

  6. Wait! There’s a storyline to the Halo games??! Huh… Learn sumfin new every day.

    • Are you high?

      The Halo universe has one of the largest story lines I’ve ever seen. There’s so much behind it. Let me guess, you’re a Call of duty fan boy? Where’s the storyline behind that?

      Kill a few Taliban, nuke the Russians.

  7. I’m a big halo fan (hell I’m deeply involved with MLG) and I think they should stick to the source material; the plot is simple, but the journey is truly epic

    • whos your sponsor? is it helio and red bull are you from san diego?

  8. If I was the director, I’d just pay the rest from my own pocket to get this movie made.

    Whenever it comes out, everyone will flock to it, and you’d get sh!tloads back anyway so what’s the problem?

  9. The thing is, is if dreamworks is making halo movie they cant do it off the games. Games turning into movies usually dont work well and its the same the other way around. If they did the Fall of reach or Contact harvest or even the Cole Protocol then i think it would work out really well. While video games turned into movies dont usually work out, it usually does with books because you get a level of depth that allows actors and directors to connect and easily recreate into a movie. Well, only if they understand the message the book is trying to percieve. I love the halo universe but there isnt much emotion behind it all. No love or remorse or feeling of loss, or even true anger towards the Covenant and their genocidal war. While the over all stories are good, i just feel the characters are slightly lacking in this department. The only exception i feel with the halo games’ characters is Jorge in Halo: Reach, who was easily likable and showed alot of emotion and respect toward the civilians on planet Reach, and Sargent Johnson who added a bit of comic relief in halo 2 & 3 and was the kind of soldier everyone expects to be serving the army.
    If a movie was based around these characters, the movie would probably be pretty good. But i stand by what i said before. The would have a much better chance of success if they made the movie off the books and not the games.

  10. This film needs to be CG animated. Shinji Aramaki did an animated short for ‘Halo Legends’ and it was exactly how I wanted to see Halo made.

    • Are you talking about the last one, The Package? Because if you are, I COMPLETELY agree with you I am a major halo fanatic and I got goose bumps once or twice while watching that segment.

    • no the movie do not need to be cg it needs to be real not fake…..

  11. It would be kind of hard to get people to go with out Master Chief in it or someone known.

  12. It will be interesting to see what film emerges after grinding through the layers of attorneys, studio heads, creative personnel and every other potential influencer. I just hope, in the end. there is something of integrity remaining.

  13. Halo works best when I’m playing it on my xbox. I have no desire to see one big long cut scene of a film.

    Why would MS waste the time? I doubt a Halo film would gross over 200m its first weekend.

  14. @ 790!

    “Why would MS waste the time? I doubt a Halo film would gross over 200m its first weekend.”

    Reach grossed 200 million in 24 hours and reach costs typically 60 dollars per unit…an average movie ticket costs on average…what? ten dollars? I think you are severly mistaken

  15. also

    movie tie in games…typically suck…i get that.
    but games made into movies suck?….UHHH SINCE WHEN?

    Mortal Kombat-the first one, the second wasnt really based on a video game it simply included minor aspects of the games.
    resident evil 1 and 4. 2,3 and degeneration werent really based off of a single game and arguably four isnt either but i think you see my point
    prince of persia-turned out to be very well done…all things considered.

    i will virtually smack someone if they bring bloodrayne because its not a real movie and in all honesty it seems the bigger the budget the better the movie when it comes to video games…well historically speaking anyways.

    character development
    Master chief is very much like kratos with less emotions in the sense that he is a one dimensional character hellbent on destroying something and getting revenge.
    The main character’s in both halo and GOW games dont have many lines and thats because they arent what really sell the games…its the situations they are put in and the other characters in the different universes that make the stories so interesting…halo is a very complex and at times convoluted story, any one who thinks differntly cleary doesnt understand the source material or plot.

    i truly hope the halo, god of war, and Metal Gear movies are a success

    • Video Game movies don’t suck? Since when? Prince of Persia, Doom (ok that’s a guilty pleasure for me), Max Payne, Super Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat 2 (yes that IS based off the video game), Resident Evil (they suck, but are guilty pleasures), Bloodrayne (again IS based off the video game), Alone in the dark, House of the dead. Do I need to continue?

      Video game movies suck b/c video games are meant to be played, not watched. There were only two VG based movies I enjoyed, and that’s Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children Complete (the director’s cut), and Scott Pilgrim (based on a comic, but it was more like a video game).

      • Matt…maybe he is Uwe Bolls one and only fan?

  16. cheers

  17. I am not really into games but I know Halo’s huge. Stick Speilberg’s name with Halo I’ll drag my friends to watch it. Game or novel, doesn’t matter.

    People like me (plenty of us) just buy Speilberg products, it’s quality guaranteed

  18. uwe boll sucks. seriously in the name of the king was probably his best movie and it was highly forgettable and the only thing i remember about it was that black guy’s badass facial hair extra thick chinstrap thingy and jason statham kicking ass in a retarded shirt.

  19. I’ve never understood the appeal of halo’s story or the fanatics that think its the best. If a film came out the only ones who would go would be the gamers.

  20. Never undertsnad its appeal?

    What, the fantastic graphics, rich storyline, iconic characters and the best gameplay co ntorls I’ve ever experienced?

    Yes, I’ll never undertand its appeal either….

    I bet you like the crappy Gears of War, which is such a half-assed rip-off of Halo.

  21. Must say, I am very much in favor of this new approach to the movie. Games made into movies do generally suck, but only because the fans have already had the opportunity to experience the same content in a fully interactive setting. It’s way more fun to “live out” the story than to watch it. I believe that the best two books to make adaptions of would be Fall of Reach and Ghosts of Onyx (however, I’ve recently heard that Ghosts of Onyx may in fact be the next game in production). It would be amazing to Master Chief and his friends’ emotional and profesional growth leading up to the games on the wide screen, and it has such a variety of material that the viewers wouldn’t get bored. And, Ghosts of Onyx has a story COMPLETELY untold by the games. The focus on the next generation of Spartans is something truly worthy of a live action adaptation.

  22. Fall of Reach would be a fantastic way to make a Halo movie. Another reason most video game movies are so terrible is the fact that so many game elements (puzzle solving, use of strategy, etc) are fun in the interactive world of the game, but don’t translate to a non-interactive medium. The books have already done a great job of fleshing out a fantastic story that was started by bungie so, to me, it seems like they would most definitely be the best basis for a movie rather than trying to translate the “run and gun” fun of the games (remember that awful first person shooter scene from the Doom movie?). However they do it, I’m certain about one thing: DON’T LET STUART BEATTIE ANYWHERE NEAR IT! I’ll give him the Pirates of the Caribbean serise- they were fantastic, but have you seen the steaming pile of crap that was G.I. Joe?? The writing was atrocious (even for what was supposed to be a “summer blockbuster” action movie), and aside from keeping most of the names, he did nothing to even try to stay faithful to the original story so many of us enjoyed as kids and looked forward to seeing updated. If he writes the Halo script, it’ll be a completely generic action-scifi movie that only touches on the deeper story for the sake of getting you from one explosion or bad one-liner to the next.

  23. i would love to see a halo movie but how many years does MS and bungie(at the time they still had halo) have said yes we plan on doing this, then changed it to will do when where ready i lost hope in the halo movie i want it being a long time fan of the game and book’s(beside the flood by dietz) it just sounds like empty promise’s i don’t want to be an old man when they finely decide to do it

  24. Ok so crazy idea here. What if Michael Bay directed a Halo movie…I think it’d be alright if they actually put some effort into it. Of course he’s all about the special effects but give him a good script and it’d be workable. The movie would have to have an emotional aspect as well as a badass action aspect. If they created a movie about John-117′s training and growth into a full blown spartan I think it would go over well. Maybe he could’ve had a girl, like a forbidden or secret love…she’d have to die of course but BAM there’s the emotion! They could follow a story about his recruitment into the spartan program, the hardships he faced, surgeries, and how they broke him down. Begin the movie by calling him John, then throughout the movie people begin calling him John-117, then Spartan-117, then Master Chief. Then when he meets Cortana she calls him John and brings him back. Really there are so many things you could do with a Halo movie. The most important thing would to get the audience caught up in the emotional aspect of Master Chief, the action should be secondary but still badass…like not just things blowing up but hand to hand combat, energy sword fights, vehicle hijacks etc. The audience should be thinking “Holy crap did that just happen?!” not “This movie is way over the top.”

  25. i am writing a halo story about gray team and the flood. It’s not an existing material, doesnt follow the main storyline (no rehashing) and it’s intracite, but not too long for a movie.

    think this might work?