Video game movies tend to suck and video game movie tie-ins also suck. It’s a terrible trend that popular video game franchises are mistreated and mishandled, leading to films that are panned critically and by their loyal fanbases.
One of the biggest adaptations that was meant to enter production in recent years was that of Halo, a project that was ready to go with Peter Jackson producing and director Neill Blomkamp at the helm. Blomkamp had made some shorts for the Halo 3 video game marketing campaign and he had a solid vision for the project. The one time we could of had a big budget video game adaptation done well and it gets canned. Instead, we got District 9 which no one is complaining about… except maybe the folks who didn’t give him the chance to make Halo.
District 9 became the creative outlet for Blomkamp and Jackson after Halo was taken away from them and on a mere $30 million budget, no known actors and no brand name recognition, they went on to make over $200 million worldwide. Throw in an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and Microsoft missed one big opportunity.
Hindsight is of course 20/20 and many figured it wasn’t a bad thing that we didn’t get to see Halo, assuming that it would also have been a bad adaption. So, going forward, when will we see a live-action take on Microsoft and Bungie Studios’ super successful franchise?
At the MI6 Conference in San Francisco last week, Content Manager Frank O’Connor of Microsoft Game Studios (previously the voice of Bungie Studios, developers of Halo) had the following to say about the Halo movie in a presentation titled “Extending Your Game Beyond the Package.”
“We’re going to make a movie when the time is right… 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.”
I’m very surprised the movie still hasn’t happened yet. As with the comic book movie genre, film licenses for seemingly any and all video game IPs are being bought up by producers and studios for adaptations over the next several years. And with Halo completing its main trilogy on the video game side, and now pumping out another prequel this year, what game(s) do they want to launch beside in the future?
That being said, it seems pretty obvious that they want and need to do the film right. If they bring out a big budget Halo movie with the hopes of launching a franchise from it, things will go bad quickly if the massive gaming fanbase aren’t impressed with it. Halo marketing like the Halo 3: ODST commercial bring hope that the movie can be very cool and if done right, they’ll earn even more gamers to purchase their future products.
What would you like to see from the Halo movie?