Cut/Scenes: Is Halo ready for its closeup?

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cutscenes_logo_425Greetings, faithful readers! We’re bringing back Cut/Scenes, a column in which we look at gaming’s attempts to break into other media. The rumors surrounding Halo have people talking, and those are the kind of debates we love. Video games have passionate fans that follow their favorite characters through countless adventures. It’s no wonder movie studios are always trying to capitalize, to mostly horrible results.

Failures such as “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” and “Super Mario Bros.” haven’t stopped movie execs from trying to find the next big thing. DreamWorks won a huge bidding war for the rights to bring “Need for Speed” to us this spring. It’s hoping the property’s fans and a similarity to the  “Fast and The Furious” movies will be a winning combo.

Sony has been the most successful. Its “Resident Evil” film franchise is now second only to Spider-Man in the amount of money it has made for the studio.

Recently, rumors have swirled about a Halo film adaptation. Production Weekly tweeted that it was happening and that Ridley Scott was on board to produce. Microsoft told Eurogamer there are no plans currently for a Halo movie. Production Weekly has since deleted the tweet, which seems to indicate they’re backing off the story.

Microsoft is likely telling the truth here. It has already announced a premium TV series with input from the Steven Spielberg. If one of the biggest names in all of entertainment wants to work with you, you don’t step on his toes.

The Halo movie is one of the longest running rumors in the industry. In 2005, “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson discussed producing it. That project never escaped development hell. “Elysium” director Neill Blomkamp expressed interest before he went on to make “District 9.”

The web-based series Halo: Forward Unto Dawn did happen. Critics were lukewarm, but it got 55 million views. It also earned a Streamy Award, which honors the year’s best web based content.

The series made the somewhat controversial choice to focus on a brand new character and not Master Chief. They felt the games’ hero wouldn’t resonate with the audience since he never removes his mask. Although if a live action Halo movie did happen, having Master Chief do just that could be a huge selling point.

I can understand the decision to keep doing TV content on Xbox consoles. Those owners are the people most likely to watch a Halo series. Besides, Microsoft is constantly reminding us it wants to dominate our living rooms. It would rather have you in front of its console than in a movie theater.

I would love to see Halo on the big screen though. Movie ideas, such as “Super Mario Bros.” were born bad. In contrast, Halo is a sweeping sci-fi space epic that begs to be a trilogy. If the web-based efforts keep drawing eyeballs, I suspect Microsoft will at least consider it. What do you think, readers? Would you check out a full-fledged movie starring Master Chief?

Read [Eurogamer]


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