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Halo abandoned by Studios

Halo.jpgIncredibly the Halo has slipped and the much talked about project, which was becoming the best hope for videogame adaptations to date, has been dropped by both financing studios and accusations are flying.

The two financing studios, Universal and Fox, were apparently concerned about the rising cost of production, US$135million - which is a mere US$67.5million each. Whereas the filmmakers are saying that both studios exerted pressure to try and get Microsoft to reduce their deal for a cut of the profits.

It's the same, as soon as a deal goes sour both sides come out blaming the other, either directly or indirectly. Each wants to appear as though they were doing the right thing and neither wants the bad press, but someone was to blame and I don't think the typical Microsoft business operating model would help the matter any.

According to Variety through SciFi Wire:

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh were on board as executive producers. They denied through representatives rumors that the budget had ballooned to around $200 million...

...Microsoft is already in talks with other distribution partners. Prep work on the film continues. Most of the preproduction is being done at Jackson and Walsh's visual-effects studios in New Zealand, Weta Digital and Weta Workshop.

Well I wouldn't doubt that they would be straight on the phone and moving on with the deal, Halo is a hot property, and despite what people stuck in the old world will say, a videogame can make a good film, if it's adapted right. Martin Scorsese has adapated an Asian movie properly, graphic novels and comics have been adapted properly, even books have. There's nothing specially different about videogames that have a strong plot, and Halo does. Not to mention the fan base.

There's no doubt that this project will happen, and that it will be made, it may take a lot of time to get there but Microsoft have never been ones to give up on a business idea.



MS has enough money to do this themselves, they need someone to distribute it. Even a sucessfull movie is unlikely to make anywhere near as much money as the games do, so a finacial failure of a movie can still generate enough hype to make MS happy.

Of course if MS was willing to give some of the game profits to the studios then I dont think they would have backed out. If I was a studio I would want a cut on games, toys, t-shirts, etc. if I was going to be taking a risk on the movie.

I think they'll seriously botch the film if they don't get some studio backing and some real film talent though.

It´s a pity. Studios are really making worrying changes in their policies. Anyway... I don´t recall any movie based on a videogame that was good enough, or even a hit in the box office. Maybe I´m wrong...

Maybe I'm reading too much into this but remember Universal have previous experience of working with Peter Jackson. He has never once turned in a film that hasn't been seriously over-budget. When a film is as big/hyped as LOTR and makes so much money you can get away with that. And Universal got away with it on Kong, mainly because of all the post-LOTR hype. But they still paid a lot more than they ever intended to - AND ended up with Jackson suing them for more money on top of it.

But LOTR and Kong are more "mainstream" movies than "Halo" can ever hope to be.

My guess (and it is only a guess, not based on any kind of inside information) is that the studios could see the way things were going, did the basic sums and jumped ship.

No one can deny that Jackson has a great "bedside manner" which helps greatly when pulling the "fan" card in difficult negotiations. But his disorganised working methods, constant indecision and lack of contactability to even his business partners and senior staff inevitably leave a trail of bitter, over-worked, exhausted and ill colleagues. I know because I've met a LOT of them!

My guess is that someone got wise to Jackson doing what Jackson tends to do with other people's money and saw beyond all the media hype and cried "Halt" before they lost too much.

Valid points there Ian.


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