How The ‘Halo’ Movie Might Be Saved By ‘Forward Unto Dawn’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 21st, 2013 at 10:47 am,

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Cast Photo 570x379 How The Halo Movie Might Be Saved By Forward Unto Dawn

Initially announced as a companion web series for Halo 4, Forward Unto Dawn has since been revealed to be not just the first live-action extended Halo film produced, but Microsoft’s “largest investment” in filmmaking to date. The first teaser trailer showed that a real-world replica of Master Chief’s Mjolnir armor still looks just as cool as one would hope, but not much else. Any doubts about the quality, scale, or intentions of Microsoft and 343 Industries were eradicated with the arrival of the full theatrical trailer for Forward Unto Dawn.

Sporting a host of young actors and actresses, like Tom Green (Dance Academy) and Anna Popplewell (The Chronicles of Narnia) the team is obviously not relying on the Halo name to win attention, even turning to sizable actor Daniel Cudmore (The Twilight Saga, X-Men 3: The Last Stand) for the faceless Goliath in green.

The story follows Thomas Lasky (Green), a young recruit at Corbulo Military Academy – the place where the best and brightest of the United Nations Space Command send their children to one day command troops against the ever-present threat of insurrection. Rivalries (and romance) soon follow, with Lasky being told that he has been born to lead others, and must grow into that responsibility regardless of his own misgivings. Sound familiar? Trained under the tutelage of General Black – played by sci-fi regular Mike Dopud (CapricaSGU Stargate Universe) – Lasky’s personal struggle gets put on hold when the alien forces of the invading Covenant arrive at the school intent on a fight. The Master Chief is happy to oblige, but the story and new characters are every bit as intriguing as the chance to see the Chief in action.

See for yourselves:

It would be a bit of a stretch to say that with Forward Unto Dawn, Microsoft is releasing a 90-minute proof of concept to potential Hollywood studios and investors. But even if the web series is being developed to begin and end as a companion to Halo 4, it is abundantly clear that the series is a precursor to something greater. Garnering attention as a possible successor to The Hunger Games films – besides, you know, being a Halo movie – is unavoidable, and more than a surface goal. If the costume and set design of the web series looks familiar, it should: Microsoft is using the same design firm, Legacy Effects.

The official trailer tells the story of young recruits being forged into warriors alongside the Master Chief, but the story details from 343 Industries, the trustees of the brand, emphasize just how closely the series will resemble the origins of the Chief himself. Fans of the Halo novels were quick to promote the idea of building any potential film franchise around The Fall of Reach, so it’s extremely telling that the basic plot and appearance of Forward Unto Dawn mirror the origin story of John-117 that DreamWorks initially favored. If the public reaction to the series is overwhelmingly positive, Microsoft would have some fairly compelling data to prove just how profitable a Halo franchise could be.

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Lasky1 How The Halo Movie Might Be Saved By Forward Unto Dawn

Tom Green as Cadet Thomas Lasky

The series is helmed by Stewart Hendler (H+Sorority Row) and written by Aaron and Todd Helbing (Spartacus: Blood and SandMortal Kombat: Legacy), all hand-picked by 343 and executive producers Josh Feldman and Lydia Antonini for their ability to produce strong content in a short, serialized form. The only criteria was that each pitch had to fit with the overall spirit and direction of the upcoming Halo 4, with the Helbings’ original story treatment specifically meant to hearken back to the Master Chief’s own beginnings. The choice to go with that story pitch was no coincidence, as Forward Unto Dawn promises to deal with some heavy philosophical issues both on and off the battlefield.

A series of video previews have been released promising a strong tone and noticeably dark undercurrent, hopefully designed to get the most of its teen cast. Have a look at one such preview, entitled ‘Enlist’:

Taking on a multi-picture video game franchise is a big bet, especially if “doing it right” means following a teenage Chief, before the armor and gravelly voice that defined him are able to appear in the film, let alone the marketing. But those aren’t the only marketable aspects the origin story of the Chief and his fellow soldiers would contain.

If we’ve learned anything from The Twilight Saga (hard to admit, we know) it’s that female audiences aren’t just a market that should be catered to, but more than capable of generating blockbuster revenues. A vampire drama built around a young woman protagonist and two heartthrobs wasn’t the kind of thing that was expected to fill meeting rooms at Comic-Con, but times have changed.

Continue to Page 3 to see how The Halo Movie would be a marketing dream…

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TAGS: Halo
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  1. Can’t wait for a full length Halo movie with good looking Aliens and effects around our Halo universe which has a great stoy line. Spartan IIs were taken and trained from age of 6 to originally stop civil war just to clear that, and IIIs were orphans as I supose from my sources.

    Next thing I wanted to comment about is the reason I started the comment anyway. Making the Halo movie “with a hint” of The Hunger Games/Twilight movie(Romance/sparkle) to get views from the young woman audince? I understand that you want to make profit and make it avaible(adding Hunger Games size romance is not to get all in, but to lure young women in and make us fans facepalm and get sad, and don’t continue on this anyway cause we are loyal to Halo series…) for most people.
    Just don’t go to far on the love part of a Halo movie which is about alien invasion(including “Halo rings” used by these aliens) and war. Take with female char, ofc! But don’t over do it with love and twilight sparkle. Take with. Cortana, female spartans and “dr. Catherine Halsey.” Make master chief the hero we know and love, and add know chars who made him come this far. Also about use of weapons, please use more many “Covernant” weapons too. Best of luck on developmet~

    • Agree!
      Also remember that the alteration of the Spartan II soldiers bodies effected the hormones as an side effect(according to the novels), making them less susceptible to love and sexuall instincts.

  2. Hey, Forward Unto Dawn was absolutely MIND BLOWING! they acting from Anna Popplewell was incredible, not to mention the elites looked PRIME. Master chief was a formidable character and has enough history to make 400 movies. If I were the person who had to make a halo movie I would charge everyone of those actors and directors to make it. everyone did a tremendous job and the chief (whom I expected to be a mess up) actually pulled off a great look and awesome lines. So yes, Halo needs to become a movie and it needs to be just as good if not better than Forward Unto Dawn.

    Btw: the energy sword you see the elite use is awesome!!!!!!

  3. I’ll see it in the movies 20 times if I have too to make Microsoft their money back! Please make a Halo Trilogy!!!!!!!!!

  4. man ill see it 100 times to pay microsoft their money back. i believe the movie will get enough fans trust me. people are on their knees waiting for a halo movie. forward unto dawn was amazing and ive seen it athousand times over. i love the chief and the characters. they were amazing. if microsoft dont hurry then their gonna lose this great chance they have. im waiting…..we’re all waiting

  5. Foward Unto Dawn was amazing!!!!!

    I’ve been hoping for a good series of halo movies to come out ever since Halo: Combat Evolved; I think with a little time and work, this movie and others like them(if made)could be the biggest movie(s) of the 21 centery. I look forward to keep following the posts and articals to see what great ideas and things that will happen following this movie

  6. They have to follow the the games the Halo is the key to it all!or what is the point….

  7. I dont really comment on things such as this let alone facebook, I’m a gamer at heart and ever since the first Halo (Halo: Combat Evolved) for original Xbox was one of the first, first person shooters I had ever played. I have never been a fan of the multiplayer expierence on live but the campaign is a different story, my dad used to be a Grand trismo fan and the CO-OP on Halo turned him a full 180 degrees and he was hooked. We have been up to date on all other Halo’s except ODST and Reach because it branchs off of the orginal storyline of the campaign on halo 1 2 3 and even the most recent 4 was great not quite what i had expected but non the less it was great way to continue with the series and i think 343 did a outstanding job for picking up where bungie left off. but then it comes to the movie I actually did not know they had even came out with a movie till recent end of march when i was looking through a red boox with my other, i never thought of them to come out with a movie i always thought it would be a good idea but i tell you what they did an amazing job with all of it, i m ean there was some flaws but im sure that is from the budget they were limited to use, the look of when the gril from narnia found the Carbine and when Master Chief followed through with the Magnum the Jackles being shot was very unrealistic but other than that everything else was astonishing and i believe that given the oppertunity to show what they ( 343 and Microsoft) can really do with a media film. I think its fair to say i speak for everybody that has seen the Halo film ( Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn) or fans of all halo games, and people that is not fans of the series that have seen the movie, THE MOVIE SERIES MUST GO ON, the way it has been left off is unacceptable and very unprofessional, they must keep the series going because there is alot of money to be made in that series. DreamWorks and Microsoft just give it a chance, and relize that i would say the first film making of halo was a positive outcome. 343 knows there is money to be made and so does microsoft i mean the halo series fanchise is up to billions of $$$ like its listed in this article, look at all the Halo preorders and gaming stores the films will be a major hit world wide!! Take this comment into consideration I would like to hear more from you.

    • Williams,AJ
      Reach and ODST aren’t really branch offs they started from the middle of the war so what bungle did was go back and show what led to those events as for ODST they wanted to show the struggles for a regular ODST or marine compared to a spartan and show their tactics or style and show their part of the story which if I’m not mistaken its not at all a branch because it takes place between time periods of halo2 and halo3 but I do agree with everyone saying that they should make a trilogy because halo has one of the highest sales rate on game sales which means bungie has a lot of fans that support them the unsc soldiers, Master chief, and halos stories whether its before or not I think they should pick off where they left I love halo I’ve played and beat everyone of the halo trilogy games so I’m a huge fan so I would love to watch the movies as well the forward unto dawn movie was spectacular and amazing every actor looked great and had great lines and as for the covenant just…amazing to pull off those kind of special effects just amazing it’s hard to do so but they pulled every inch of weapon shot and armor and etc off so best of luck to them making more movies I for one would pay to go see that

  8. found forward unto dawns acting to laughable
    switched off after i was able to stop my sides from splitting

  9. I am a Playstation fan but also love playing the xbox. i immediately got hooked when i first played the first halo and ever since ive wanted a film. “Forward until Dawn” shows to me that it is possible to make an amazing movie that will prolly be the best movie of the century. the technology is ready for it. Look at James Cameron’s “Avatar.” the visual effects were off the charts. i cant wait till they make an actual Hollywood film. the story line that i would love to see is how master chief becomes a super soldier and how the alien invasions and war begins. i think if they start out with this story they will be able to make many more awesome sequals to this. if they do make a halo film they will most likely need to make at least 4-5 other movies to continue the story (permitting if they get enough funds) because the story alone is massive.

  10. I am a fan of the game, also I did like what they put out for a promo for fans/also to see if there will be viewers.

    I’m no actor but I would go though all classes asked to get into this film even as a free actor for the first of Many movies that can come from this.

  11. I’m hoping for a new movie this movie was amazing I’m a huge fan of every halo movie from the covenants first attacks on reach to rings to chief and the soldiers ,the flood the covenant, and their newest leader who can forget the Arbitor and the brutes or the oracle from combat evolved to halo4 loved the multiplayer as well I loved all of halo just the mystical scenery and what not I hope there is a movie or I mean a trilogy to complete forward unto dawn they did amazing

  12. I have just watched the movie on Netflix. I am soooo hooked. My brother owns the halo reach and halo 4. I am planing on getting the books from the library. I really hope that they continue with the movies. A movie on Master Chef :). I am really looking forward to all movies to come. Gonna go watch the movie again :)

  13. Didn’t know there was a Halo 4 out, I came here looking for 2 and 3. I know of the game, but i’m more of a wing woman, (not good with controls, but good with strategy and puzzles) so i sit on the side of people who know how to press buttons. Anyway, I’ve had minimal experience with Halo and I thought it was positively the bomb. I got the first Halo movie, which was animated, but admittedly didn’t like it much, I appreciated the story, but it didn’t feed that hunger, for lack of a better word. However, Halo 4 was beautiful! Its been out for a year, and I can’t believe I just stumbled upon it. wow. anyway, just giving a shout.

  14. I do not even understand how I ended up here, but I believed this put
    up was once good. I don’t understand who you are however definitely you’re going to a famous
    blogger when you are not already. Cheers!

  15. Best film/teaser/intro/pilot/beginning I have ever seen. This is precisely what Hollywood is failing to do. A serious piece of work – as is Master Chief.

  16. i dont get it i only noticed this movie from netflix and after watching it i was amazed! I was desperately hoping for a sequel but the reality is movies that dont have much publicity arent going to have sequels due to the limited knowledge and fan base of this film. i love this movie so much but until halo 5 comes out the thought of a movie wont happen for years after and thats if it is even possible to make a movie from halo 5.

  17. Please just don’t try to do
    Too many things at once, I like Halo for the core of what it is as a story and the grim totality of war.
    Don’t go too far with the romance but I do want to know the core and meaning of what Spartans are.
    I liked Neil Blomkamps vision and I like the dark fry 343 now brings to edge of te Spartans minds and how immorally there valued.
    Thank You
    For Reading

  18. When I watched Avatar I thought “at last, now they can make a Halo movie franchise!”. I think the books are great and an obvious route to take, they capture everything you need for a good plot, story and character development, loads of action and a good insight into the enemy too. Dare I say that I wish the Star Wars franchise had followed the books released after the first films instead of creating those rubbish prequels that were flawed in every way except CGI.
    Halo could be huge, but if you tailor it to the younger audience and at risk of being called sexist, the female audience, then I feel the Halo universe will not sit right with the fans and it will be pegged a flop with no sequels. Don’t dumb it down, you don’t need to. The fans will love it, the youngsters will wish their lives away to become old enough to watch it, and if you don’t cock it up it should be good enough to keep the female audience interested too.
    Have faith, stop faffing and get on with it, after all with Halo 5 and a film, a Halo 6, 7, 8 and so on should be easy to justify and add to the 2billion already netted.

  19. Let Machinima produce the actually movie. Don’t outsource it to Hollywood that has been producing nothing but same recycled plots. Hollywood overemphasizes on effects and puts little emphasis on plot, as evident from Marvel stuff that they’ve been producing along with Transformers and other similar Sci-Fi stuff. The worst was Star Trek.

    So no Microsoft, please continue the Second Season of Halo 4, and let Machina do it, since they’ve done an amazing job at prequel.

  20. Please!!!! Somebody, make Halo a Movie a trilogy reality! I will go with all my friends!!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeeease!!!

  21. *Enters the comment section* “No… Just- just no.”

  22. Ever since I watched Halo Forward unto dawn I have googled when the next one is coming out in cinemas. I have even hired the game out a few times. I would have loved to have seen (with the same director and actors)this series start from the very beginning as I feel like I am missing the very beginning of a good ol’ yarn. I am aware that there are some in animation but I was not aware of any of this until the Forward unto dawn. The movie is awesome. I realize some comments about twilight/the hunger games and such but I fit into the young woman category and trust me this type of movie does not need to be romanticized like them. It was a solid wicked movie. I was hoping master chief ended up being Laskys older brother who is meant to be dead. I hope there is another Halo movie in the making. Purrrty please.

  23. it will be bettter that they should make the movie of halo after the movie comes out and everonr could wath bec i know that me an everybody that plays halo will love it

  24. Imo I think it wld be best to do it as the first movie is the war is going on so you have master chief as the finished product already then do a prequel that way it doesnt just start like hey these little kids were kidnapped and then continue from there I think it just works a little better. Or even a star wars approch to it.

  25. halo movie was good wish 4 the next one

  26. So can anyone tell me if there will be a continuation to Halo 4 Forward unto Dawn?