Halo in Limbo

This is just getting sad. The Halo project is in shambles right now. Remember this announcement from the studios way back in early 2005?:

Variety reports that 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures have closed their deal to make a movie based on Microsoft’s hit video game Halo, with plans for a tentpole release in the summer of 2007.

Yeah… well here we are near the end of the summer of 2006. And what do we have? Nothing.

We have no cast, and most importantly we have NO DIRECTOR YET!!!!!

Don’t hold your breath for a summer 2007 release date. Not having a director yet… a FULL YEAR after they announced the project is bad bad bad news no matter which way you try to spin it. It either means one of three things:

1) They can’t find a decent director who will take a video game project and they’re stuck in total limbo right now with nothing happening.

2) The script that they announced was “completed” last year was actually total crap and they’re just working on trying to redo it into something that actually works.

or what would be even WORSE,

3) They’re proceeding with the project without the guidance of the director. This means right now important film decisions are being made by the wrong people that an actual director will have to walk in and just accept.

This isn’t like the M. Night Shyamalan and Harry Potter situation. I’m not saying a director needs 100% total control over a project at all. But to start working on pre-production elements without a director to guide it would show just how little Bungie knows about making movies.

Look, maybe this film will turn out to be amazing. Maybe it will win Oscars. Maybe Kings and Queens of ages past will rise from the dead just to watch this piece of cinematic history. Maybe. But right now this project is a joke. A full year after its announcement and the still don’t have the first thing you need. A director. I’ll be the guy in the corner not holding his breath.

You may now begin sending your hate mail.

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33 thoughts on “Halo in Limbo

  1. your completely right. here are my tips for anyone directing the movie.

    Make the movie, a trilogy, following each one of the games. DOnt screw with the story ONE bit. Movies like resident evil and tomb raider suck because they got some of the ideas of the story and spat it out. they suck. make it off the actual game. if peter jackson is at the helm of this, then i can say right now its BOUND to be good. just not what we know we want. also, the cinematography to FF7 advent children was EXCELLENT! they should make the movie completely CGI but and with the same voice actors. just for gods sakes dont screw up my favorite thing in live…

  2. Fredo, I sat through the entire first Halo game and watched all the cinemas.

    the story is no better than any other game.

  3. When you have 300K people logged into XBOX Live playing Halo 2 online during the day and close to 500K in the evening, there is a substansial fan base. I want this movie to be good because I have read the books and played the games and I think the story is solid. And that is the only thing that rankles me about John’s comments (and others), is you haven’t played the game or read the novels to know where Bungie is coming from.

    Lastly, I see this as sort of a Lucas-esque control over the content in the Halo movie. Bungie is notoriously private and secret, so I’m assuming they and WETA and whomever else are hard at work with a timeline and the annoucement will come when it is ready. From a marketing standpoint, I’d be releasing the movie after Halo 3 in November 2007, not one minute sooner.

  4. I’m a member of one of the most “prestigious” Halo fansites out there….and secretly I am ANTI HALO. No, it’s a great game. But people that are fans are way too high horsed about this.

    It has about the same chances that John Leguizamo in a Chicken suit has of making a decent flick.

    When the fans of the site started spreading the “Pete Jackson is DIRECTING” BS, this blog was my only source of peace.

    Thank you, John, for not being afraid to say the truth…that this game/movie has the same chance that ALL other game/movies have…slim to none.

    Weta or no Weta.

  5. Hey Tom,

    Wow… you really are a master of SELECTIVE reading aren’t you? As far as the Halo script goes, I said as plainly as I could that these were possibilites as to why the movie was being held up. I never said teh script sucked… but a bad script is OFTEN why films are held up in Hollywood. So it’s not a stretch to offer that up as a possibility.

    ALSO…

    Michael Clarke Duncan. I love him. But ummmm…. please tell me where in that article it says MCD quit the Transformers because he didn’t have faith in Michael Bay’s direceting. I’ve read the article 20x now and I still don’t see it.

  6. they haven’t got a director yet…thats all……

    i mean they might give it to tim burton and cast nic cage, then cancel that and get mcg……then move over to brett ratner and finally after spending 60 million developing it settle on bryan singer…I mean if all that happens then yes you could start to say its a mess ;)
    but so far they all they have done is announce a film project and release date which is having a few prroblems getting off the ground and is going to miss that date…….wheres the mess??

    I really think you are being a little OTT in calling it a joke and a mess…

    what the fuck do i care anyway…..i don’t even play the game…I just love to debate ya……

  7. I think this would make a good movie, well at least the concept is cool. However if they said they were making a half life/half life 2 movie, man oh man I would be some psycked. Especially if they used the gravity gun and just went balistic with it for 10 min. Oh god I hope they would. For those of you who haven’t played hl2, it’s amazing, totally worth it, it’s my favorit game of all time (halo 1 coming in second).

    Don’t forget John, if Bungi really wants to participate with the making of this movie, they can’t right now with the work being put into the so called small project called halo 3. Bungi will probably take the #1 spot entertainment opening day from itself (halo 2 made 125 million on opening day). Actually halo 3 comes out in spring 2007, I’m prety sure, and they said it would be the last one. The trailer is already out. I don’t like it that much, but i’m still very very anctious, a great franchise.

    Also, halo 2 had over 2 hrs (I think) of cut sceen footage, and I thought it was prety good, for Bungi to duplicate it IRL might be another story.

  8. Like the Evangelion project, I refuse to believe this film is going to get made until filming starts.

    At this point it’s looking doubtful.

  9. There are other directors out there equal to the task. Cameron isn’t the end all. Most directors were unknown when they “knocked it out of the park” to become legends.

  10. They should not do this movie. Unless you can get Cameron don’t even bother. Expectations are to high for this one and anything short of masterful directing will be a dissapointment. The fans know it and demand it. The same can be said for the World of Warcraft movie.

  11. Hey John,

    Kind of funny how you’re saying the script sucking could be the reason for the Halo movie hold-up, when latinoreview did a review of it and gave it an A. Latinoreview is the same website that did a review of the Transformers script, and humped the shit out of it. You even posted that review up on your site here. You believed the Transformers review, because you want that movie to be good (coincidentally, Michael Clarke Duncan just quit Transformers because he wasn’t confident in Bay’s abilities. Here’s the story: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/news/comments/?entryid=342966), you don’t care to mention that, because you don’t care about the Halo movie.

  12. Hey Tom,

    Variety isn’t a rag. It’s the industry magazine. They reported it… because Universal and Fox told them that. Bungie had that up to when they annouced WETA. Funny how it’s not there any more.

    And I’m not “riled up” about this. I could care less about Halo the movie. I’m just calling like I see it. That project is a mess.

  13. I’ve got no clue why you guys are getting so riled up about this.

    Who said it was coming out in 2007? Imdb? Imdb’s got user submitted bullshit most of the time.

    The guy who does the voice of Master Chief did a radio interview a few months ago (he’s a radio DJ when he’s not doing the voice-work for the Halo games) and he even said that Halo 3 will probably be out long before the movie’s released.

    So, do yourselves a favor and chill the fuck out. I’m betting Bungie isn’t half as concerned about this as you guys are.

  14. Hey there Chark,

    I totally see where you’re coming from… but there is one huge difference. Taking time to do something is fine. it’s even good.

    But what exactly are they doing? They don’t even have a director to do anything with. And if they are doing significant things before even having a director in place, then that’s even worse.

    Yes, I’m totally with you on “taking your time” 100%, No question. BUT… they’re not doing anything… at least I hope they’re not without so much as a director.

    Name your director and move on. Then go slow, take your time and do it right… but you need a director first. They’ve dropped the ball totally. IMO anyway.

    Cheers.

    ~John

  15. Ok, I’ll bite.

    A lot of speculation going on here. Many films take years and years and years to develop. To say that only a year (“way back” in 2005 is a real stretch in movie time) after the project was announced this thing is tanking is pessimistically premature based on the fact this is a video game film.

    How long did “Robots in Disguise” take to get off the ground? What about “Aliens”? Films take time– and it’s to everyone’s credit that it is. Most all video game films have been rushed resulting in crap- and now the doubters are complaining because it’s taking some time?

  16. I’m afraid that John is probably right (and I don’t mean politically)…the Halo project is in limbo and irregardless of what Bungie’s website may say, they have definitely fumbled the ball on this one.

    The Halo story is good. I’ve read all three books and with the addition of material from the Halo 2 videogame, they have plenty of background stuff to make this work. Yet, the situation totally sucks.

    Great going Bungie. Halo 2 was a bust, I can just imagine the crappy material they have for the movie script.

  17. Isnt Alex Garland writing the screenplay and weta set to do the special effects? And what happened to Peter Jackson producing this thing? This movie would probably be better as CGI.

  18. A book based on the Halo video game came out. Now from what I’ve heard there pretty darn good. So if they take elements from the book and game then MAYBE it might be a decent movie. Right now though I dout this movie will be made. The time they get this movie together people intrest in Halo might dappen down.

  19. No… you’re not getting any hate mail.
    The only thing solid that was announced was when Peter Jackson was announced as the producer for this game-to-movie adaptation.
    I suspect King Kong’s box office numbers must have taken it’s toll on P.J. he might have quit.
    Because for a project that has been announced for over a year and there’s nothing solid about it.
    Seems to me the project is stuck in development hell.
    It’s like the Dragon Ball Z movie all over again. That darn Neon Genesis Evangelion live-action feature that never showed up and when will James Cameron green-lit Battle Angle Alita!?

  20. The problem is that they are trying to do it without the books. People won’t understand who Master Chief is and also why other Spartans may pop up in later movies. I don’t even think people understood the link between the 2 games without reading the 3rd book.

    My suggestion is to make a movie off each book. They are all epic and tell great stories that will make great movies.

    The movie, which was going to be based off the first game, would probably have trouble explaining why everything else is going on around Master Chief. The book attempted to explain the other survivors of the crash and how they aided the Chief.

    Master Chief is a roughly 6’8” (7 in armor) pail white guy (due to always being in armor). I would hope they would try to get part of that right…

  21. i don’t really give two ##### about the halo project anyway.
    the story of the game is just their to give you a reason to go from one environment to the next. in fact i’ve never been excited about any video game movie (except for mario bros. cause i was like 9) in fact the only game that i think would make a good movie would be metal gear solid.

  22. Why would people send hate mail? I think everybody agrees that its an idiotic idea, and can in no way become succesful…

    If it doesn’t top “Aliens” or AT LEAST “Starship Troopers”, it’s not worth it, and i for one am willing to bet that it will top neither.

  23. Well John, A lot of folks thought this was going to be God’s gift to cinema. With a name like Peter Jackson supposedly attached to the project, things looked promising. Then the Peter Jackson thing was apprently a rumor. Then the script was apperently reallllly good. It’s been an absolute roller coaster, and maybe the project will go on without a director at the helm. God forbid, at this point does anybody reallly care?

  24. I’m fascinated by videogame films. I mean, they’ve cranked out a couple of dozen by now, and not a one of them is any good. Not one. It’s no wonder decent directors won’t go near them. Is there a particular reason for the shitty record of turning games into films? You’ve got some good characters (like comics), fully created worlds (like comics), and a great visual starting point (like comics) – why do they always end up with such dross?

  25. Oh and when are mr Campea gonna stop talking about blockbuster movies and start talking about the true masterpieces of cinema, the gems ussualy titled indies

  26. And how wasn’t this project a joke from the get go. Videogame movies are sheit becouse of one thing the story in them are utterly worthless. The only trully captivating moviegame is Metal gear solid. That was one cinematic game masterpiece.

    You might as well throw this to Uwe Boll and be done with it.

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