Our Rob Keyes' dreams of a Halo movie have been on the verge of coming true for years now, without anything ever managing to make it beyond the development stage. All that could be about to change, though: the hugely popular video game franchise is getting adapted into a TV series, with Steven Spielberg as executive producer, and a recent rumor claimed that Ridley Scott is set to produce a Halo digital feature film.
At the time, Microsoft denied the existence of the movie, saying that although the company has "many projects in the works" there were "no plans for a Halo motion picture." Based on the latest news, however, the rumor was either remarkably prophetic or Microsoft was telling a bit of a fib.
TheWrap has confirmed that the Halo film is in development, with Scott producing and Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Falling Skies) set to direct. The film is being co-produced by three studios: 343 Industries, Xbox Entertainment Studios and Scott Free Productions. There isn't a script yet but apparently Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring is the top pick for screenwriter.
Whereas many video game movies try to recreate stories already told in the original games, the Halo feature will will follow a different path, according to an individual familiar with the project. The protagonist is not Master Chief, but is instead a different surgically-enhanced soldier who may or may not get to actually show his face. Like the games, the movie will be set in the 26th century.
Although the Halo TV series and the feature film are two separate projects, they have a common link (aside from Halo, obviously): Mimica-Gezzan has frequently collaborated with Spielberg and worked as a first assistant director on many of his projects, including Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan and Minority Report.
Neill Blomkamp was originally set to direct a live-action Halo movie, but when it eventually got cancelled he made District 9 instead. This might be why District 9's plot felt so much like that of a video game, with the protagonist gaining new abilities and unlocking better weapons as the story progressed. A recent rumor suggested that Blomkamp may direct the pilot episode of the Halo TV series, so perhaps he'll get to live the dream yet.
We'll keep you updated on Halo as the project develops.