Last month the latest game in the Halo franchise, Halo: Reach, made over $200 million on its very first day of release and it may have caused a number of movie studios to take notice. According to Vulture “DreamWorks Pictures is renewing its efforts to obtain the rights” to Halo and may focus “on using novelizations of the video game” when making the movie.
Five years ago Universal and 20th Century Fox were developing a Halo movie with Peter Jackson producing and Neill Blomkamp directing, however they pulled the plug over budget concerns and Blomkamp hadn’t made District 9 yet so they didn’t know how kick-ass he was. By making a movie of the books DreamWorks hopes to avoid reimbursing Universal for its development costs (around $12 million).
In August last year Stuart Beattie (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) decided to write a ’spec script’ (which is basically a script he didn’t get paid for and which he would present to movie studios in the hope of getting it made) called Halo: Fall of Reach which was based on the first book. At the time there was talk of Steven Spielberg being interested in producing, which may be why his company DreamWorks Pictures is persuading the rights now.
One hurdle may be Microsoft who owns the rights and has a profitable franchise in Halo, and they wouldn’t want to damage its reputation with a crappy movie. Game to movie adaptations have never really succeeded so a talented creative team would need to be involved. I can easily see Halo becoming a kickass sci-fi trilogy with the right treatment and execution.
What do Halo fans think of a potential Steven Spielberg-produced Halo movie? Is focusing on the books the right way to go?