Picking The Right Time For A ‘Halo’ Movie

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 6:10 pm,

halo movie release date Picking The Right Time For A Halo Movie

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?

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes and check out our sister site Game Rant for more on the Halo games, including the upcoming Halo: Reach!

Source: IGN

TAGS: Halo
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  1. The Master Chief aids future humanity in battling the Covenant, a theocratic alliance of alien races that worship an ancient civilization known as the Forerunners, and a parasitic organism known as the Flood.

    I cant FPS on a console. Im to old school and only do my FPSing on a PC. However how integral is “the Master Chief” to the story?

    I could see (just based on what I know about Halo from Wiki and a few others) not a central character (The Master Chief) plight against this foe but something along the lines of how Starship Troopers was handle where everyone seemed to be as important as the next.

  2. I'm sorry… You may may be right… and I imagine some hollywood executives would agree with that line of thought… but…

    There is no way a Halo movie should be made without the Master Chief. based on your description, a film about a group of Marines would work… but… what you are missing out on is the fact that Humans are fighting a losing war. Master Chief and the Spartan program is the ONLY hope humanity has. He pretty much single-handedly destroys the first Halo and a Covenant Armada. (now granted the argument can be made that this is done so as to make the player feel like a hero – I mean after all… it is a video game.)

    Also… If you tried to make this movie without the Master Chief you would have millions of people swear it off immediately. Not a good start. lol

    You might also be missing the point of what gives the game it's appeal. Again you're description is accurate… The story is good enough if you remove the Master Chief. The universe Bungie Created IS solid…. but… it would be tantamount to making 24 without Jack Bauer. I'm sure there is not really one man in our government who is so great at his job and can handle every situation like he does. In reality all this stuff would be handled by squads. and most of the time several different squads. especially if you consider all the stuff that has occurred across the 8 seasons. That would have probably been resolved by 100 different agents. lol

    But what makes 24 enjoyable isn't the struggle itself… It's watching how Jack overcomes that struggle. The same would be true with a Halo Movie.

  3. Thanks Raven. I can see the need for the MC. Would there be room to make it say like a LoTR type thing?

    And I didnt really mean remove the MC completely but make him the Frodo of Halo. While Frodo was the main character (or the ring..) the supporting characters were strong enough to hold big chunks of the story on their own.

    That to me would bring a more epic feel to the overall Humans vs Aliens w/o really having to rely on one sole character to carry it.

    I guess what I am asking is does everything rely JUST on the MC? Or can a lot of the story be delegated amongst others.

  4. I'm afraid that Blomkamp's interpretation would not have been received well with the core audience. I'm sure it would've been an enjoyable movie, as was D9, and probably been critically acclaimed as well. But for fans of the game, I think a movie with the Chief as a secondary character that doesn't appear much would be a failure for the franchise.

    On the other hand, I think too much of the Master Chief, such as an in-depth childhood background and a love story (please no), would detract from the legend that he's supposed to be. I'd be fine with a brief, GENERAL insight into the Spartan childhood training (300ish), so it doesn't necessarily show the Chief as a boy but just a general Spartan. But definitely no garbage love interest for the Chief besides Cortana lol.

    And a mask-wearing character CAN carry the weight of a movie, as Hugo Weaving has already proven with V, so I hope they don't humanize the hero by putting a face on him.

    What are your thoughts, Rob?


  5. I was thinking along the same lines (with regards to Lord of the Rings). There can definitely be parallel stories and I think that would work well. Following a group of Marines, the Commander (Keyes or the chick?), the Chief, and somehow relate them all.

  6. Personally, and as much as I love Halo, the right time had passed up when Neill Blomkamp and Peter Jackson were on the project, I feel like they were personally the best for the movie and it was sad to see it fall through in the end – granted we got District 9, a wonderfully made film, as an end result.

  7. seeing how District 9 turned out (a good premise, good first half) I'm glad these guys aren't involved anymore.. but, how good could a HALO movie really be..?

  8. Well I'm not Rob…. but I agree.

    I have no problem following multiple story arcs with different characters, Sgt Johnson and some ODST's or whatever LoTR style would work just fine for me.

    I also agree with a 300 style background for the Spartan training… kinda Ironic huh? lol. And PLEASE… no Love interest. I couldn't agree more on that point.

    And I agree he should remain helmeted. And as long as Sam Raimi doesn't come anywhere near this, that might be a possibility. also that way you could (theoretically) cast a complete unknown to wear the suit (such as David Prowse did) and have the guy from the video game do the voice. That would be perfect!! :)

    That would (also theoretically) reduce production cost. Not having to pay some huge movie star to play the Chief would have to save money, right?

  9. A helmeted MC with the original voice actor . . . sounds like Doug Jones has another movie to do if they were to go that route!

    I agree with what folks are saying about the LOTR approach. Perhaps add a separate ODST-type team for one group, Sergeant Johnson for another, and Master Chief with Cortana as the main arc driving the rest of the story. If they were to follow the story of the original game, those three groups could maybe join together for rescuing Keyes, and then “break the fellowship” after that.

  10. the right time was to have it realse along halo 3 or reach. but since its not in development it wont come out with reach. so maybe it could come out with halo 4 god thats like 3 or 4 years off.

  11. Okay, I'm a huge halo fan and I play video games competitively via Major League Gaming. The Halo series is the most played game on Xbox Live and has been the iconic video game of the decade along with Master Chief becoming the iconic video game character of the decade. There are also 3 canon Halo games with a prequel game coming out Fall 2010.

    The Halo series is very appealing because it is an epic, like Lord of the Rings. It can also be turned into a trilogy since there are 3 canon games. It would be really great if Peter Jackson was directing this because he knows how to handle big projects.

  12. read the books and you will understand… Halo would be a great trilogy ..but it will take the right director, producer , and company to do the film….Master Chief is the best spartan because luck on his side..no matter how hard the situation is he always comes out on top. not to mention he has balls of steal(LMAO)… the moving would be great and Now is the time 2010, 11, 12 but technology in film is on point.. but it take the right people and team… I would save give it to James Cameron, Peter Jackson, weta -workshop, and ILM. and keep to what makes sense and not feed into this hollywood crap and THE HALO MOVIE WOULD BE THE MOST EPIC MOVING OR OUR TIME

  13. SRRY BOUT THE TYPO'S!!!!!!!!

  14. The Halo novels are an excellent read, and if a movie is to be made, then I hope that it would follow the prequel novel to Halo CE, called The Fall of Reach. This basically tells about how the spartan program was started, and the story of the Spartan II's before Halo CE. This one's probably my favorite out of all of them, with Ghosts of Onyx a close second. As long as they follow the storyline already established, and don't screw anything up with the established canon, then I'd be perfectly fine with that.*cough* Halo Reach *cough* I mean seriously, anyone who's read the books can understand how frustrating this is. There were NO Spartan III's on Reach, there never was and there never should be, but nope, Bungie just had to say, “f*#@ you fans, we don't care about you.” I love Bungie and all, but that's stupid that they would do something like this. /rant
    Back on topic, if there will be a halo movie, Frank O'Connor and Joe Staten had better stay far far away from it.

  15. I liked Blomkamp's line of thinking on this.

    Master Chief is not a character that you can relate to. He has no face and he barely speaks. No romance, no flashbacks, no family. He's a weapon and the movie should emphasize that he's the hero and the symbol of hope for those fighting the Covenant against all odds.

    Blomkamp's take was to have the movie shot very gritty (a la D-9 and Halo 3 short) and have it from the perspective of the soldiers and leaders and their experiences in battle coming across and fighting with Master Chief as opposed to the movie being about him and Cortana.

    To your example, Weaving's character carried the movie through his voice, stories, emotions, etc. so mask or not, he was a deep character. Master Chief isn't really that, he's an insane action hero and the last of his kind so I wouldn't compare the two.

    I agree with your point.

  16. not really, any kid can write a halo story. and still make tons of money.

  17. Somebody already made a script for a movie of Halo similar to Fall of Reach. In my opinion they should make the film a kin to what Lord of the Rings and District 9 did (Not making a connection to Peter Jackson), make it epic, tragic, story-packed, and enough bewilderment to make the viewer actually care about the characters and the story and the action at the same time without canceling each other out.

  18. I thought the videos on the halo3 website with the veterans remembering the MC were awesome. I agree that shooting the movie from the perspective of the soldiers and leaders would work best, incorporating the same aspect from those videos about how the soldiers didn't have a chance without Spartan 117. Hope it gets made properly in the future.

  19. Jackson yes, Blomkamp no, if the make it look like Avatar visually it will be awesome.

  20. Great post!