Microsoft follows Ubisoft. Halo film made
A teaser has arrived for the first Halo film, a film that conventional Hollywood studios decided not to make due to budget and creative control issues but that Microsoft has moved forward with and developed as part of the release of the upcoming Halo 4.
The film will actually be made from a five episode web series called Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn with the episodes pulled together with some fifteen minutes of extra footage to make a ninety minute feature film.
It's interesting that we're now seeing a second major videogame studio move into film production, even if this is a web series edited into a feature it still counts, and when the Hollywood system failed them and their products they've decided to do it for themselves. This could be very worrying for the studios as it could so easily mark a trend.
While Hollywood has a number of videogames in various stages of development it's not really clear how many will make it through to a final feature, looking historically at the announced adaptations and how many have made it to the big screen we're looking at a very low completion percentage.
We've been hearing about Ubisoft Motion Pictures and how they have been developing animated film adaptations of their works and are now moving onto fully fledged live-action feature film versions with their first being Assassin's Creed, perhaps they are both fed up with the poor conversion rate and the poor adaptations when they do get made, maybe this and the issue of creative control over Halo is why Microsoft have taken this step forward.
If Microsoft and Ubisoft pull it off will the videogame industry start making their own films independently and providing the gaming audience, which has already shown that it is larger than the cinematic audience in terms of sales, with what they want? Will other videogame companies follow suit with their titles and either make them themselves or head to one of the new videogame production companies to start development?
According to the L.A. Times Microsoft and 343 Industries have developed the web series called Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn and will reveal the five episodes in the build up to the release of the new Halo 4 videogame throughout October and the series will be previewed at Comic-Con International in San Diego on Thursday.
Apparently the production cost somewhere between US $5 and $10 million and while the teaser below doesn't tell you much the article has some images from the series. Unfortunately it seems to feature children and younger adult recruits who are being trained for war and so while it might appeal to the teen and pre-teen markets I'm not sure it will blanket cover all Halo fans.
Still, the key here is the model. For a modest sum a feature film has if the model provides some success I can see it being replicated and perhaps a straight feature created from the Halo companies. More than that with Ubisoft doing the same thing with Ubisoft Motion Pictures and developing Assassin's Creed independently the story rich market of videogames could finally be about to find a strong route to film, and one without Hollywood studios.
Here's the teaser for the film which really is a teaser in all meanings of the word:
Well the teaser looks great, but it's a small teaser. Bring on the trailer.