While franchises reign supreme within the realm of popular media, an all around successful movie based on a video game remains an elusive concept. This may not be true for long, with the promising big screen adaptation of Assassin's Creed on the way - among many others - and two separate live-action adaptations of the blockbuster Xbox video game series Halo in development.
Prometheus director Ridley Scott is developing a digital feature (which just cast its lead), and a live-action Steven Spielberg-produced TV series will (likely) air on Showtime and Microsoft's Xbox One, which may or may not have Elysium director Neill Blomkamp aboard to direct the pilot.
The roll-out of news on the Halo TV project has been slow and steady, and while many details are as yet undisclosed, we do know that the show will have “an expansive bible” from screenwriter Stuart Beattie (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra).
Now, thanks to a report from Variety, we know approximately when the show will premiere. The Halo series will debut in the fall of 2015 and will coincide with the release of the next entry in the game series, Halo 5: Guardians. According to Bonnie Ross, general manager of Halo producer 343 Industries, the television series “will stand alone, as well as complement and enrich the game experience.”
Microsoft is using the upcoming E3 2014 as an opportunity to showcase what the Xbox One is capable of, which is the main thrust of a recent trailer. More details about Halo 5 are expected at E3, and Ross did say the following about the game:
“‘Halo 5: Guardians’ is a bigger effort than ‘Halo 4.' That applies to the content and scope of the game, as well as the technology in what’s now a brand-new and more powerful engine.”
Could the Halo show be poised to break new ground when it come to the multi-platform franchise reach every major studio seems to be actively developing? The comments from Ross suggest that there will be no narrative overlap, but if the show is expected to "complement and enrich" the game experience, fans may well expect details from the series to inform aspects of the gameplay.
There is no word on whether or not the digital feature will tie into the TV series or the game, but in an industry currently obsessed with universe-building, a multi-platform Halo narrative could prove a commercially viable project, provided that the core Halo fanbase can be coaxed on board. Expect more details this June when Microsoft unveils Halo 5 at E3.
The Halo series is still development. Stay tuned for more as details emerge.