DreamWorks Reviving Adaptation of Microsoft's 'Halo' Series?

October 6, 2010
Source: Vulture

Master Chief

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.

Find more posts: Movie News, Opinions



Fall of Reach was a great book and is exactly the route they should take. It actually gives the character of Master Chief some depth. It sets everything up: Beginnings of the Spartan program, introduction of the Covenant, AWESOME space battles!

Huey on Oct 6, 2010


I'd kinda rather see a movie based on something other than Master Chief or Reach. Give me another Spartan hero story to expand on the Halo universe.

S on Oct 6, 2010


I'm with you, #2 (rhyme). They need to take the playingfield to new depths... and then teast the viewers with just a little bit of Master Chief--- preparing everyone for a trilogy.

Cracky on Oct 6, 2010


what if Spielberg Directs!!!

nelson on Oct 6, 2010


i want Nathan Fillion to be in it, he's already the same character in three games *Buck* with an awesome attitude in each one, so him being in it would really back up this project....

Jericho on Oct 6, 2010


Come on, screw that. If they do it Master Chief has to be the main character. There's no reason not to. Why is everyone so against him being the central? He doesn't need to be some deep character. Remember.. Halo has two primary characters: Master Chief and Cortana. Let Master Chief do all of the fighting, and have Cortana do all of the talking -- JUST LIKE THE GAMES? I'm all for them throwing in other secondary badasses, such as Sgt Johnson and Buck as side characters for him but Master Chief Petty Officer Spartan-117 must be the main badass.

Steve on Oct 6, 2010


Steve, that is exactly the thinking that may make this movie tank. Everything you said sounds great-- and as much as I'd like to resist saying it, Master Chief should in fact be the central character. BUT, that could be a huge mistake. Do you know what studios DO to our beloved adaptation characters? Fuck them up. That's what. All that needs to happen is they give Master Chief a shit-ton of dialogue, have him take off his helmet (Judge Dredd style) and make Cortana an Angelina Jolie-type actress with some weird love interest in the Master Chief and you've got yourself a piece of shit that could have been a WHOLE lot more subtle and gracious. All I'm saying is there needs to be a bit of finesse in this project, ya know?

Cracky on Oct 6, 2010


I could see The Rock being a secondary badass, or maybe even Master Chief?

Cmurder on Oct 6, 2010


Wow it is extremely heartening to read #2, 3, and 5... I'm a huge Halo fan but I really don't like Master Chief. I've heard enough, I've seen enough. I feel like he brings the whole thing down a notch... and frankly I don't think exciting crap needs to happen to the same person over and over for it to be interesting or fun... it is a big universe. (Ripley in Aliens is a classic example... are we that lost without Ripley in the Aliens universe that we had to bring her back from the frickin' dead for the fourth? Cripes.)

dRailer on Oct 6, 2010


If they're going to have Master Chief in the movie (and hopefully not remove his helmet..), then they should do it the same way Darth Vader was portrayed in the Original Trilogy. Have a big, tall guy (whose face is never seen) be in the suit, doing all the physical stuff, and have Steve Downes (voice of Master Chief) do all the voice work.

Dan on Oct 6, 2010


Goddamnit. I'm not even a Halo fan nor did I ever play any of the games. But please, for the love of god, let Blomkamp finally do this so that the constant rumour news stop. Plus, I think he will actually give the fans what they want and do a good movie.

reeft on Oct 6, 2010


Adding to my earlier post... I mean, after we've seen him launch himself out into dead space, plant a bomb that he can't read the timer on back on a ship that originally planted the bomb, and then ride the explosion out into space, what's Master Chief going to do to top that? When that happened in Halo 2, I just shook my head and rolled my eyes. Being Superman is boring. I love the current Halo game, Halo: Reach... the heroes feel more fleshed out... they have personalities, faces, concerns -- they express doubt at impossible missions, but try to pull them off anyway. And there's an overall feeling of risk that I haven't felt in Master Chief-oriented games, although that might just be because I care about the characters for a change. Anyway, I hope somehow the characters in the movie have some humanity. Please.

dRailer on Oct 6, 2010


Follow a new character, Master Chief is done! Have it follow a completely different character, that is the only way to create a successful film. The Chief is done, his story is currently over until Bungie decides to place the cheif in a new setting on the "Legendary" planet.

Xerxex on Oct 6, 2010


HECK FREAKING YES!!!! Now here's to hoping that Dreamworks doesnt mind working with bungie and taking a backseat to the halo cannon!!!! Also they can follow John and the rest of the Spartans if they do it off of the books because they are all in the first book and i dont want to spoil anything for those who havent read the books but some of them have a very interesting story line after the first book when Master Chief (John) is all alone fighting the covenant in the games.

Stew on Oct 6, 2010


Money talks. Halo reach is hitting record sales. Oh yaaaah, people love halo. /milk that cow HollyWood

Brandon on Oct 6, 2010


Pretty sure without Master Chief, the Halo franchise wouldn't be a franchise....he IS Halo. To cut him out would kill the film instantly. And the Rock? What, do you think Uwe Boll is going to land the directing job? When I think of Halo as a whole, I think of it in terms as: visually striking, frenetic action/violence, and amazing sound. Who's style fits that bill? Michael Bay. And that's what I'm afraid of. A beautiful looking action movie...the end. No story. No substance. I want to see a grittier, futuristic, war film with heart and soul, rather than "Rambo in Space." The live-action trailer for "Reach" is a perfect example. Master Chief, The Covenant, the Halo, and the Flood all need cognitive parts. Running with a cast of mostly no names (similar to Saving Private Ryan), with cameos splashed here and there, would be phenomenal.

quazzimotto on Oct 6, 2010


yes!!! im am totally with #10!!! but all i want is for them to do it right and to atleast mention Samuel-034

Said on Oct 6, 2010


Meh, #16 regarding Master Chief... ODST and Reach didn't need Master Chief at all, both perfectly good games and almost half the Halo franchise. He's been out of it as much as he's been in it. Let the guy rest, and wake him when we need him. (Hopefully a long time from now.)

dRailer on Oct 6, 2010


have the main character be someone fighting alongside Master Chief or cut Master Chief's role down to a cameo. only way to get a good main character. If the main character is MC then you have to build a dynamic character from a weak base

silver on Oct 6, 2010


Or have multiple main characters. If you read the book, this movie could be like star wars, and lord of the rings style following multiple story lines.

Stew on Oct 6, 2010


Hopefully the film will follow a different character other then Master Chief. The problem with having Master Chief as a main character, Is that he spends the majority in the suit and helmet on, Movie audiences cannot identify with a character who you never see a face of. Therefore having a soldier who is part of Master Chief's team will help tell the story of Halo from a different prospective.

TigerClaw on Oct 7, 2010


the wayyy thank you .. Goddamnit. I'm not even a Halo fan nor did I ever play any of the games.

ruya on Oct 9, 2010

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