Movie Chronicles » Halo Movie


Squabbling amongst the studios February 13th, 2007

Dead­line Hol­ly­wood Daily reports that Fox and Uni­ver­sal are fight­ing over the $12m Halo movie pre-production costs, the slew of the prob­lems come as Fox refuse to pay for the split costs 50–50, claim­ing that Uni­ver­sal stu­dios should have asked per­mis­sion to split these costs before­hand. In response, Uni­ver­sal are threat­en­ing to sue Fox to force them to pay what they believe they right­fully should.

It’s all quite funny.

Halo Movie Officially Postponed October 31st, 2006

Well, given the pre­vi­ous state­ments con­cern­ing the movie’s con­tin­ued progress this is most def­i­nitely a shot to the gut. The offi­cial state­ment via Peter Jack­son and Microsoft’s WingNut Films goes like this:

As was pre­vi­ously con­firmed, we deeply regret that both Uni­ver­sal and Fox did not choose to move for­ward with financ­ing the Halo film under the orig­i­nal terms of the agree­ment. At this time Peter Jack­son and Fran Walsh, along with their part­ner, Microsoft, have mutu­ally agreed to post­pone mak­ing a fea­ture film based on the Halo video game uni­verse until we can ful­fill the promise we made to mil­lions of Halo fans through­out the world that we would set­tle for no less than bring­ing a first class film to the big screen. We are fully sup­port­ive of Direc­tor Neill Blomkamp’s vision of the film. Neill is a tremen­dously gifted film­maker and his pre­lim­i­nary work on Halo is truly awe-inspiring. While it will undoubt­edly take a lit­tle longer for Halo to reach the big screen, we are con­fi­dent that the final fea­ture film will be well worth the wait.

Please note POSTPONED does NOT mean can­celed. So many news arti­cles claimed Game Over for the Halo movie, it’s not over, it’s an unfor­tu­nate set back.

AintitCool’s Quint also has a com­men­tary on this predica­ment.
Com­ing­Soon — Fur­ther coverage.

The difficulty of finding a new studio October 28th, 2006

Vari­ety has a new arti­cle dis­cussing the issues and prob­lems Microsoft now faces with regards to find­ing a stu­dio and part­ner to fund and take the risk for the Halo movie adaptation.

The key studios:

  • Sony — As a huge rival to Microsoft this is sim­ply not an option.
  • New Line — Con­tin­ued dis­putes between Peter Jack­son, Fran Walsh and the stu­dio over “Lord of the Rings” pro­ceeds make any deal unlikely.
  • Dis­ney — Chief share­holder is Steve Jobs, CEO of another Microsoft rival Apple.
  • WB — Maybe inter­ested but have had a dif­fi­cult finan­cial year and may not be will­ing to front the risk.
  • Dream­works — A lonely option.
  • Para­mount — Another name not tied down to a rival of Microsoft.
  • Microsoft could go it alone, this would give them the best deal when it comes to prof­its and pro­ceeds yet they would also have to face all the risk involved with the project.

Microsoft comments on Studio Withdrawal October 22nd, 2006

Direct from a Bungie announce­ment, Microsoft’s offi­cial statement:

“We are dis­ap­pointed that Uni­ver­sal and Fox wanted to sig­nif­i­cantly rene­go­ti­ate the finan­cial points of the deal. But the Halo fran­chise is hugely pop­u­lar and our goal remains the same — to find a part­ner that shares our pas­sion and will cre­atively col­lab­o­rate with us to best rep­re­sent the story and spirit of the Halo fran­chise. Peter Jack­son, Fran Walsh and the rest of the cre­ative team are ded­i­cated to ensur­ing the Halo movie becomes a real­ity. We are already in dis­cus­sions with poten­tial part­ners who rec­og­nize the value of the Halo brand and its appeal to con­sumers worldwide.”

Bungie con­tin­ues on to note a feel­ing of opti­mism, hap­pi­ness and sat­is­fac­tion — for rea­sons they can­not go into:

“Frankly we’re inter­ested in mak­ing the best movie, and it’s pos­si­ble that a part­ner who’s more con­cerned with num­bers, might not be the best part­ner for what’s more vitally a cre­ative process. Suf­fice it to say that Peter, Neill, Fran and Microsoft are as excited and ded­i­cated as ever and WETA con­tin­ues the pre-production process. […] when you do finally get to see the stuff WETA has already made, you will prob­a­bly pee a lit­tle.

Looks like our coura­geous cre­ative team are still work­ing on churn­ing out the best adap­ta­tion pos­si­ble. The Halo movie is most defi­nately not can­celled, as many other pub­li­ca­tions has­tened to point out.

Studios pull out of Halo Movie October 20th, 2006

Vari­ety is report­ing that both Uni­ver­sal and Fox have pulled out of the Halo project, cit­ing high and ris­ing costs as their pri­mary rea­son for their actions whilst the rel­a­tive inex­pe­ri­ence of announced direc­tor Neill Blomkamp is another spec­u­la­tive cause.The two com­pa­nies were set to co-finance the live action adap­ta­tion of the game series and had agreed a deal worth $135 mil­lion. The abrupt with­drawal of the finance came when the stu­dios attempted to reduce the “profit par­tic­i­pa­tion” of Microsoft, Bungie and the film­mak­ers, Vari­ety dubs this a hard­ball tac­tic. In order to con­tinue with the film this demand had to be met, (a demand that was made at the very last moment before an agreed upon dead­line). Peter and Fran, after liais­ing with Microsoft and Bungie, declined the pro­posal. And so the com­pa­nies parted ways.

Rumors of the bud­get increas­ing to more than $200 mil­lion have been cir­cu­lat­ing also, although film­mak­ers state that they have been work­ing towards and within the orig­i­nally announced budget:

“The only bud­get the film­mak­ers ever spoke about was $145 mil­lion less the 12.5% rebate that you get from shoot­ing in New Zealand, which would put it at about $128 mil­lion,” Kamins said. “That was the only num­ber that was ever discussed.

Microsoft is already in talks with other dis­tri­b­u­tion part­ners and prepa­ra­tion for the movie will con­tinue. Most of this devel­op­ment is at Peter Jackson’s Weta effects stu­dios in New Zealand, so delays should be small.

Is the dream of a per­fect adap­ta­tion over? Kamins states that they expect the movie to con­tinue into pro­duc­tion with all “cre­ative part­ners intact”.

New Zealand News Broad­cast with com­ments by Peter Jack­son:

The old agree­ment:
Fund­ing and the com­pa­nies involved: Towards the end of August ’05 the pre­cise deal Microsoft and the pro­duc­tion stu­dios had agreed to was announced. Many stu­dios turned down Microsoft’s A-list offer, this was due to hefty require­ments set by the soft­ware king: “$10 mil­lion against 15 per­cent of the gross (whichever is higher), a below-the-line bud­get of $75 mil­lion (bud­get before hir­ing actors and crew), near-immediate pro­duc­tion ofand a large say in the cre­ative devel­op­ment of the movie.” Fox and Uni­ver­sal stu­dios agreed to co-operatively take on the project pay­ing Microsoft $5 mil­lion against 10 per­cent of the gross. Uni­ver­sal will con­trol the pro­duc­tion and Amer­i­can dis­tri­b­u­tion whilst Fox will over­see all inter­na­tional distribution.

Other news resources:
Voodoo Extreme: http://​ve3d​.ign​.com/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​s​/​7​4​0​/​7​4​0​6​7​2​p​1​.​h​tml
Aint it Cool News: http://​www​.ain​tit​cool​.com/​n​o​d​e​/​3​0​460
Cin­emaBlend: http://​www​.cin​emablend​.com/​n​e​w​/​H​a​l​o​-​I​s​-​M​o​s​t​l​y​-​D​e​a​d​-​3​6​7​5​.​h​tml
Can­Mag: http://​www​.can​mag​.com/​n​e​w​s​/​4​/​3​/​5​472
Joys­tiq: http://​www​.joys​tiq​.com/​2​0​0​6​/​1​0​/​2​0​/​g​a​m​e​-​o​v​e​r​-​f​o​r​-​h​a​l​o​-​m​o​v​ie/