In 2006, it was announced that a film adaptation based on the insanely popular videogame series Halo would be helmed by a 26-year old first-time director named Neill Blomkamp. Blomkamp went so far as to create some Halo-inspired shorts, but after several months of development, the project ultimately fell apart. Blomkamp went on to work with producer Peter Jackson to create his first feature-length film District 9, but some Halo faithful still held out hope that Blomkamp might return to the video game franchise again.
Tonight, I spoke with Blomkamp at the San Diego Comic Con about the making of District 9. The full interview will follow soon, but hit the jump for some of his thoughts on his potential involvement with the Halo universe.
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Stuart Beattie is starting to promote G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra, but he’s got a lot more projects to talk about. Beattie was recently announced as the writer/director who would adapt the Australian book series that begins with Tomorrow, When the War Began, and he’s got a Tarzan script and a Halo spec that he’s trying to get off the ground. SciFiWire parceled all the info from their interview over a series of articles (here, here and here), and we’ve collected it back together for you. Read More »
Star Wars – A New Halo by: Kung Fu Grip
The Pitch: What would happen if in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, the incompetent Stormtroopers were replaced by Spartans from Halo? Gruesome deaths that’s what! Thanks to /Film reader Benny for the tip.
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Just to give you an update, Guillermo del Toro is not yet officially attached to The Hobbit. Recently the director provided this update on his message board:
“There has been a lot of movement. And for the last few weeks there has been a lot of creative / cast / crew / visual talks and agreements and we have witnessed great progress in areas,” said del Toro. “I have to be patient and wait until the papers are done and my attachment is real. Nevertheless- a LOT of progress in defining the films, their cast and crew. And, may I add, we are all happily in synch about all creative aspects so far and all willing and eager to move forth.”
Guillermo also discussed the possibility of helming a video game adaptation. Since it’s release in August, rumor has it that Hollywood is eyeing a big screen adaptation of BioShock, the popular first-person shooter from 2K Games. The visuals are certainly cinematic enough for a big budget film, and critics have praised the game for it’s story, something not common in the video game field. But would del Toro be interested in making a Bioshock movie?
“I love BIOSHOCK from a design point of view,” says del Toro. “But Unless its a HELLBOY sequel I am not that eager to engage in another action-oriented movie. Even if the other elements are right. BUT… if I found the right pitch on the material, who knows – the BIOSHOCK universe is indeed wonderful.”
Guillermo was almost attached to the Halo film a couple years ago.
“I actually flew to [New Zealand] for HALO,” revealed del Toro. “I had design meetings at WETA, we talked about concepts and parameters etc and came very close to doing it- very close – But it was not meant to be. [Hellboy II] was part of the reason I didnt do it – There’s great movie to be made, read the novels… Check out the added Mythos in HALO3.”
As you probably know, Neill Blomkamp was brought onto the film as director, and the project fell into development hell. I think many gamers would agree, del Toro would make the perfect director for a Bioshock movie. And while Guillermo clearly isn’t interested in future action/adventure films outside of the Hellboy franchise, he seems to be open to hearing a pitch. So Hollywood, let’s make this happen!
Discuss: Which movie would you rather see Guillermo del Toro make: The Hobbit, Halo or BioShock?
Note: This is a not an April Fool’s Day joke. Screenwriter Stuart Beattie, whose script is behind the $170 million G.I. Joe that’s currently filming, has written a full spec-script for a potential Halo movie according to Latino Review. Moreover, his script is based on Eric Nylund‘s first book tie-in, the prequel Halo: The Fall of Reach, and carries the same name.
For those not in the know, a “spec script” means a script that’s written without the screenwriter being paid or contracted to do so. Apparently Beattie (Spy Hunter, Pirates of the Caribbean 1) is a fan of Bungie‘s ginormous video game franchise and wishes to get the first film off life support, where it’s been since last summer when producer Peter Jackson and hotshot director Neil Blomkampf once again threw in the towel after an eruption of distribution differences.
Not only does Beattie’s Halo: The Fall of Reach deliver a worthy action film according to LR’s inside source but it sets up a trilogy of films to coincide with the three Xbox installments. Here’s what the source said…
“The script is, first and foremost, a character-driven story about a soldier named John who was kidnapped or “conscripted” by the UNSC when he was just six years old, and then brutally trained to become an elite Spartan warrior known as Master Chief 117.
The script then takes us through the horrific first contact with the Covenant hordes on the doomed colony world of Harvest, and then climaxes with the spectacular fall of the UNSC forward base on Reach, during which every other Spartan is slaughtered.”
The source goes on to compare the script to Jaws, in that the Covenant (the series’ cunning alliance of aliens) isn’t seen until the half-way point, thereby making the first film financially attractive. In 2005, a script by Alex Garland (28 Days Later) that went through several rewrites was set to be used for Blomkampf’s film. Of note, Beattie also wrote the Gears of War video game adaptation that is now reportedly scheduled for 2010.
Discuss: Will Halo: The Movie ever happen? Furthermore, will the infamously uptight dudes at Microsoft give Beattie’s script the time of day?
Fear not young gamers, a Halo movie is not dead in this “post-Halo 3 $300 million in its first week of sales” world. Microsoft is already in talks with other movie studios to continue development on a Halo feature film, according to producer Peter Jackson’s representative Ken Kamins.
Apparently, preparation on the film has not stopped at Weta Digital and Weta Workshop in New Zealand. They still hope to set up a deal with newcomer director Neill Blomkamp (who was responsible for those live action Halo advertisements) still attached. I was impressed by Blomkamp’s commercial work, but the Halo shorts were disappointing. Aside from seeing a couple of the practical and digital effects created by WETA, the direction and tone felt very generic. I hope more than anyone that one day they’ll make a good video game adaptation, and Halo is one of the few games that has that potential.
Okay, so we wouldn’t normally post a commercial for a video game but this one is different. It’s a live action commercial for Halo 3 directed by Neil Blomkamp, who was announced by Peter Jackson as the director of the Halo feature film. The studios were unhappy to hand the big screen adaptation to a virtual newcomer (he’s done commercials) and the project has since fallen into development hell. This short film/advertisement also features special effects done by Peter Jackson’s WETA Digital. I went in wanting to love this. I wanted to stand up from my computer chair furious at the movie studios who obviously couldn’t see vision if it smacked them in the face. But truth is, the short is not very impressive at all. It would have been impressive if it was fan made. But I expect more from the guy who was almost given hundreds of millions of dollars to make the feature film. I want to see a Halo movie, but it has to be done right. Check out the short after the jump.
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Diablo Movie In Development
The official Legendary Pictures website now lists a big screen adaptation of the Diablo video game series as one of the projects they are actively developing. Legendary Pictures has been responsible for Superman Returns, Batman Begins, and 300 among other films (We Are Marshall, Beerfest, Lady in the Water and The Ant Bully). The company is also developing the Batman Begins sequel The Dark Knight, Superman: The Man of Steel, an adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, a big screen adaptation of World of Warcraft, and a Clash of the Titans remake.
Blizzard released the dark fantasy-themed hack and slash action-adventure game in 1996. Diablo was a best seller and following the first game’s popularity an expansion pack, entitled Diablo: Hellfire, was released in 1997. This was followed by a true sequel, Diablo II, in 2000. The game is based on the premise of a war between Heaven and Hell. The town of Tristram is under attack by demons, and the player must save the town. As the player delves into the underworld, he discovers more about the demon Diablo, through large tomes that are found throughout the levels. Eventually, the player reaches the lair of Diablo and must attempt to kill him. This actually sounds like an interesting premise for a dark fantasy film.
Fox to License Halo
20th Century Fox has announced that they have signed a deal to become the primary licensor for the popular X-Box video game series Haloe. Less than a year ago the studio and Universal canceled plans to make a big screen adaptation of the series. Does this mean that the movie is back on? No. It just means that Fox will launch “a broad array of products, from books to apparel to collectible merchandise, in conjunction with the release of Halo 3 in September.” According to Variety, the company will continue to sell licensed products for the next few years “until a fourth Halo game comes out.” So basically, fans will have more crap to buy, but does anyone care. Fans want a big screen movie. Microsoft? Fox? Peter Jackson? Is anyone listening?
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Did You Know: Eli Roth claims he turned down The Hulk, Halo, and Live Free or Die Hard to instead make Hostel: Part II?
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RealD has inked a deal to expand it’s Digital 3-D experience to an additional 200 screens (AMC, Regal, Cinemark, and more). Disney’s March 30th release of Meet the Robinsons will use the technology.
A heavyweight annual human rights report issued by the State Department lists Borat as a victim of censorship. The report cited Borat’s loss of his Kazakh webpage www.borat.kz in late 2005 alongside court cases and limits on free speech faced by the few domestic media critical of Kazakhstan’s long-serving President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Kevin Smith’s London Q&A sold out so quickly that they’ve added a second show on Thursday April 5th.
Charlie’s Angels co-stars Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz are considering working together again on a remake of the classic 1940s Betty Davis film, Old Acquaintance.
Latest MPAA Ratings: Goya’s Ghosts is Rated R For violence, disturbing images, some sexual content and nudity. Mr. Brooks is Rated R For strong bloody violence, some graphic sexual content, nudity and language. The Nanny Diaries is Rated PG-13 For language. Skinwalkers is Rated R For violent content throughout and language. TMNT is Rated PG For animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language.
Last September, Microsoft announced a collaboration with director Peter Jackson on several videogame projects, including one related to Halo. Microsoft executive Shane Kim revealed Jackson’s project would be one of two episodic series they’re working on, while speaking at Game Developers Conference: “Our deal with Peter is not about a film guy who wants to make video games. We’re in the design phase now. The first series will be set in the Halo universe. In addition to this deal, Jackson continues to executive produce the currently on hiatus Halo feature film.”
The brown hooded cloak worn by Alec Guinness’ Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars film, sold for $104,000 to an anonymous telephone bidder on March 6 in a London auction. Someday I will have disposable income.
Magnolia Pictures has served Google (ie YouTube) with a subpoena requesting the identities of users who uploaded copyright-infringing content: “We’ve had a real problem with it,” Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said. “Our films ‘The Host’ and ‘Jesus Camp’ have been up there many times. There’s software that can find pornography — that they seem to be able to take down.” Mark Cuban fails to realize that copyright infringement is much less damaging to our youth than hardcore pornography. I kid, I kid.
The Departed bumped Flushed Away from the top spot on the national DVD sales charts. I know I bought a copy.
Daniel Craig has told film bosses to cover him up in the next James Bond movie. A source tells the Daily Express, “Daniel was a little uncomfortable at the amount of nudity he had to do.” “He appreciated that a lot of it was to win over the female fans but it’s not something he wants to make a habit of, no matter how good he looks in his trunks.”