recently closed their deal to make a movie based on Bungie
's popular first person shooter,Halo
. Now that the contractual details have been ironed out, Master Chief may be coming to a theater near you in 2007. Bungie's Joseph Staten explains how the movie deal came about in an article on Bungie.net
titled "The Great (Hollywood) Journey, Part One."
Going back to 2002, shortly after the initial release of Halo, Staten explains why the company never felt comfortable with the idea of handing their idea over to a movie company without retaining any say in the crafting of the project.
Back then the plan was to license the Halo universe lock, stock and barrel with no guaranteed Bungie collaboration. Sure, Halo was a hit, but Hollywood has its own way of doing things. In the case of video-game properties that way is usually "throw me the idol, I'll throw you the whip" – an all-or-nothing proposition in which game-developers accept a whack of cash in exchange for a "we know how to make movies, you don't" assurance of quality.
Cashing-in was much less important to us than securing a seat at the creative table, but that wasn't the only reason why we baulked. Parsons and I knew that any time we spent listening to Hollywood's siren call would be time not spent thinking about Halo2, and that loss of focus could be very, very dangerous. After some sincere "thanks but no thanks," we put the movie project on hold.
Knowing fans are understandably concerned with how any movie adaptation might modify their beloved storyline, Staten promises not to let them down.
In all seriousness, let me give two good reasons to have faith that Bungie's not gonna drop the ball on the Halo movie - let it turn into something we don't want to see let alone make you suffer through.
First, our community team (along with some great folks in Microsoft's Franchise Development Group) assembled an exhaustive "companion" that will accompany the script during the film's production. We built this universe bible/style-guide to inspire and inform the filmmakers as well as serve as a point-of-reference for all parties in the event of creative disagreements.
Second, over the next month or so Peter Schlessel (who's signed on as Producer), Parsons and I will be meeting with potential directors, and picking the best person for the job. I recently saw a list of "available and interested" candidates, and trust me: it's an embarrassment of riches.
The article also explains how Alex Garland, of 28 Days Later
fame, was chosen to write the Halo screenplay. For the entire article follow the link listed below.