DreamWorks Reviving Adaptation of Microsoft's 'Halo' Series?
After being on hold for years, Microsoft said this past April that a big screen adaptation of their huge video game franchise Halo would happen when the time is right. After the most recent installment in the game series, Halo: Reach, grossed $200 million, Vulture reports DreamWorks thinks there's no better time to take another stab at bringing Master Chief into theaters. However, since the project had already been deep in development years ago at Fox and Universal there's plenty of legal red tape to sift through. But DreamWorks' solution to that issue will have the studio using novelizations of the game as source material.
To make a long story short, the reason behind the books being used as source material rises from a concern that Fox and Universal may demand a return of the wasted money they spent developing the property based on the video game. From an original script by Alex Garland to producing responsibilities taken over by Peter Jackson who would mentor then unestablished filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (District 9), the adaptation of Halo has been through the cleaners before its eventual halt but perhaps DreamWorks can make it happen. I guess those rumors of Spielberg's involvement from last year may not have been so fanciful after all. But of now no screenwriter has been brought in to script the adaptation.
As for that Halo: The Fall of Reach script that writer Stuart Beattie sent to Microsoft last year, apparently the adaptation of the novel of the same name (which he wrote during the 2007 writer's strike) was done completely on spec simply because he's such a fan of the story. The script was sent to Microsoft and Beattie would relish the opportunity to work on the series. He says, "My long-term goal is to get three Halo movies [based on the three novelizations] made. It’s not something I can accomplish tomorrow. But if I can help, I am glad to do it." Perhaps he'll get his chance if DreamWorks can make this project finally come together.
However, Microsoft may not be so easy-going when it comes to taking Halo to the big screen. Vulture's source says, "“It’s a gigantic waste of time, because [Microsoft] doesn’t want anything to happen in any other media that could screw up a multi-billion dollar franchise. Somebody has to be in control of a movie; it’s a director’s medium. But they’re completely averse to that. Because if Steven Spielberg fucks it up, what’s your recourse? So the rule is: ‘First, do no harm.’” Sounds like an uphill battle, but all I know is the kick-ass, live-action commercials that come around when a new game gets released always make me dream of an amazing Halo flick. Stay tuned as this story develops.