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Peter Jackson talks Halo

Halo.jpgThis is a first I think, Peter Jackson has been cornered and has openly discussed the Halo project, and the answers he gives are not only exciting but also close down pretty firmly the critics of the project and indeed videogame adaptations in general. Excuse me if I take heed of him, he is a top Director and Producer.

AICN interviewed him recently and have a series of articles on the different projects he's been talking about, but for these questions they talked Halo, and some of his responses are very interesting.

Neill (Blomkamp) is not a first time director. He's a first time feature film director, but he understands film and grammar as good as anybody. He's done some wonderful short films and commercials. His visual eye is fantastic and his storytelling is great. The fact that it's a feature film just means that he gets to shoot for longer than he did in the short film. There really isn't anything else that's different.

Okay, that's that argument closed! There's still risk, and that's undeniable, and there are differences, but Jackson is very confident that there's not enough to make this an issue. He then talks about what they were looking for in a Director for the project, and he says that there were a lot of Directors who they looked at and approached them for this project:

...they wanted to do it really badly. They had to be absolute HALO fans...we wanted somebody who was going to bring a unique vision to it...

His comments on the view of videogame adaptations automatically being rubbish are equally as decisive and intended to shut down the topic, see them on the next page...

"These films aren't any good." In a sense, everybody's saying "You can't make a good film out of a game." Well, that's all crap. Good films just need good characters, good storyline and a great director to bring it to life and make a film that you've never seen before. That's what it needs. It doesn't matter a damn whether it's based on a game, a book or a piece of chewing gum, you know? That's irrelevant. It's what actually ends up on the screen that's important.

I totally agree, the source material dictates only what there is to work with, this can be made better or worse at scripting, then again at filming and then again at editing. Whatever the source is, a great movie can be made, it's just that the right team and script hasn't been there yet. It's the same story with any source material, and with that he talks about the script itself.

We're still developing a script and we've still got work to go on the script and that's underway, but while that's happening Neill is just producing his vision of this world. It is original and new and has not been seen before on the screen. It's not Ridley Scott, it's not James Cameron, it's not what we've seen before, but it's something new and fresh and it's cool.

The movie, as far as I'm concerned, as far as my involvement is concerned, is not going to go in front of the cameras until we have a really great script.

Now that's interesting, it does suggest that we're not just looking at a straight converstion of a storyline we've already seen in the games, or one from the books. Something new, and something original in the Halo universe. However they aren't going to ignore convention (as per the Bungie Halo "universe bible"), there are some things Jackson says will definitely be in there, and the mere mention of them will get you excited (if you're a fan already!)...

We know that there's going to be the Covenant, we know that there's going to be Warthogs and there's going to be Ghosts...and Scorpion (Tanks)'s and there's going to be the Pillar of Autumn.

There's also mention of the Flood, and with that the question of a rating comes up. Jackson is pretty sure the Studio are going to want a PG-13, and I would probably expect that to be an "at most" comment. However he does like the idea of giving a harder, possibly "R" rated version for the DVD release and capturing those more hardcore fans. He uses words like concept and fun, and points out that ratings haven't even been discussed as yet, so I think it's just an idea that came into his head at the time. Still, we could hope for that.

You can see the whole interview at AICN. What do you think then? Surely this is more positive news for the Halo project than we've seen. People are so quick to criticise videogame adaptations (for the wrong reasons), but I truly think this has the best chance of them all so far, and from what Jackson is saying it's a great chance at that.



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