Hollywood screenwriter, Stuart Beattie, who was responsible for Gears of War screenplay for New Line Cinema last year, has written the new Halo script. Word says that Microsoft like it and that they are discussing possible plans for it to be made.
Bettie beleives the old style Halo movie incaration is dead and is ready to release his vision, Halo: The Fall of Reach, a prequel to the first game. John Gaudiosi finds out what this vision is, in his interview for game daily. See the full transcript below.
And thanks to Blair Allan for sending us this news.
GameDaily BIZ: One of the big riffs about Halo early on from Hollywood producers I’ve spoken with was that the movie borrowed too much from Aliens…
Stuart Beattie: So? There’s a whole school of thought that says, “Brilliant!” (Laughs)
BIZ: Why do you think Microsoft wasn’t able to get this movie off the ground with Peter Jackson attached and 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures on board?
SB: I wasn’t involved so I don’t know specifically why it fell apart, but I do know Hollywood is a numbers game. There’s certainly going to be an interest in a huge IP like Halo, but there’s going to be a point where the numbers just don’t add up any more. From what I had read, the budget kept going higher and higher and all of the back-ends were going to everyone but the people who were putting up the money to make the movie. And it just got to the breaking point because it was no longer fiscally responsible to make. These movies are a business.
“The audience is trying to figure out everything at the same time as the characters are. What are these aliens? Why are they killing us? What did we do? And realizing it’s all about this Halo ring. And then ending the movie where the first game begins.”
BIZ: Where does your Halo movie fit in with everything?
SB: The Halo movie in its initial incarnation is dead. No one is pursuing it any more. When the writers guild strike hit last year I suddenly had three months to write a Halo script. I always had this vision of doing Halo: The Fall of Reach, which is a prequel to the first game. It sets up a world 500 years in the future and we have colonies, there’s the UNSC, there’s the secret Spartan training program. And you see this six-year-old kid kidnapped in the middle of the night.
BIZ: And where does Master Chief fit into all of this?
SB: The character doesn’t start off as Master Chief. He starts off as John, who’s the kid that’s kidnapped and told he’s going to be a soldier. Anyone can connect with a kid kidnapped from his own home. You’re along for that journey. The Covenant comes along halfway through that movie. That gives you half the movie to really get to know everyone and care about everyone. And then when the Covenant come along, it’s the first time John sees a grunt or a jackal or an élite. The audience is trying to figure out everything at the same time as the characters are. What are these aliens? Why are they killing us? What did we do? And realizing it’s all about this Halo ring. And then ending the movie where the first game begins.
BIZ: What do you think gamers, who’ve been waiting a long time for a Halo movie, will get from your adaptation?
SB: I’ve been waiting a long time, too, as a fan. For fans, it will give a whole new perspective that they’ve never had before. And for non-fans it will introduce a whole new world, a time and a place with interesting characters. They can get into that and then they can go play the games because they know the whole backstory.
BIZ: You’ve talked about John getting kidnapped as a kid and a lot of peaceful time before the attacks. How much action is in your story?
SB: As a Halo fan what I want to see in a Halo movie is Master Chief kicking alien butt and we have plenty of that. But we’ve also got this great story that goes along with it. I always thought that was the way a Halo story should be so when I got time during the strike I decided to put my money where my mouth was. I did a bunch of concept art and boards and animatics. I did a presentation package and contacted Microsoft and Bungie. Joe Statton at Bungie (director of cinematics and writer of the three games) read it and loved it. I wasn’t part of the previous incarnation so I don’t know what they did with that script. But the book they commissioned, Halo: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nyland was a fantastic book.
BIZ: What’s the next step, now that you have a completed script?
SB: We’re now in discussions with Microsoft to see if we can get this made. I’m just a fan and I desperately want to see a Halo movie out there.
BIZ: Are you a go-to guy now in Hollywood for game adaptations?
SB: I get sent a lot of games. I’ve been sent games before that I don’t like and that I’ve turned down because I’m not the right guy for that job. That’s not going to be a good adaptation. You need to love the game. If I haven’t played the game, I say, “Can you give me a year?” I can’t just adapt a game for a film unless I’ve played it and liked it.
BIZ: And you obviously have that passion for the Halo games, right?
SB: At the end of the day you have to really be inspired. It can’t just be a story from the game. Once you go and make the movie that’s two years of your life and you have to be invested in the story. You gotta know you have the right story. I suspect (with the original Halo movie) they didn’t fully have the right story. They had three or four writers on it and that’s usually a sign that they didn’t have a story and they kept going around in circles.
BIZ: Thanks for your time. We hope your film gets made.