Beattie tries new Halo film
Stuart Beattie has been writing a speculative script to get a new Halo film off the ground, he's even sent it to Microsoft and seems desperate to have it made, yet he says he's not ready to direct.
He's worked out a speculative script based on the Halo novel Fall of Reach from Eric Nyland (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com), the prequel to the story we see in the first Halo game, but will it really work?
The idea of starting a film before the Halo story makes a lot of sense, introduce the world in a prequel and race into the epic story for the latter half. However I'm not sure if Stuart Beattie will be successful, after all the original film failed not because of the writer, the director or the script, but because of the game and film studios clashing.
Microsoft and Bungie, who own the rights to the Halo series are very tight on the rules of the series and what they can and can't do with the story and, like Babylon 5, have a bible of the universe which just can't be thrown out.
I get that, I totally understand that, they want to protect their series and property and just giving it to a Hollywood studio would be a bit of a mess, after all we only have to look at what they're doing to remakes day after day in Hollywood to see what could happen Halo.
So if Peter Jackson, Neill Blomkamp, Microsoft and Bungie can't get it done because the studio wasn't happy with the strict control that the game studios wanted over the project and the expected budget of the film then I don't see how Beattie's script could do anything different.
"It's not something I can direct right now, because it's a big $100 million-plus film...Maybe in a few years, if things work with Tomorrow and if Tomorrow finds an audience, maybe one day, two or three movies later, I can get the reins of that and maybe direct that, because I would just love to see a Halo movie up there on screen. It's magnificent."
Tomorrow, When the War Began is the film he plans to make his directorial début on, an adaptation of the James Marsden novel (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com), but he's not hung up on directing at all, it seems that he really wants to see a Halo film get made.
"I wouldn't want to stand in the way of it getting made, but I firmly believe that the first Halo movie needs to be the Fall of Reach story, because it sets up all the characters, the world, the Covenant, the big struggle between mankind and the aliens, all that stuff"
There are so many people that have this thing against video game adaptations saying that they will never work, and I argue time and time again that it doesn't matter what the source is if there's a strong story already there then it could make a good film, Beattie sees that too and it's this that makes me believe that he could deliver a great Halo script.
"Once my generation of filmmakers start to get to that position where they allow us to make these big-budget films based on these video games, then we'll start to get some really great movies based on video games...
...I think it's the same as books, [and] it's the same as comic books. I think not every video game should be made into a movie, just like not every book should be made into a movie. Not every comic book should, but certain ones definitely should, because they're so visual, the characters are so rich and the mythology is so vast that they should. Halo is definitely one of the shoulds."
Spot on, but I it still doesn't solve the problem. The first film attempt failed because of budget, scope and game studio control, and they still need to find film studios willing to take that chance and get something made.