is dead, says Wingnut Films. Long live Halo.

With the withdrawal of Universal and Fox from the muy expensive video game movie, Microsoft and Peter Jackson’s Wingnut have decided to lay the movie to rest for a little while. But they’ll get a free life, they claim:

As was previously confirmed, we deeply regret that both Universal and Fox did not choose to move forward with financing the Halo film under the original terms of the agreement. At this time Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, along with their partner, Microsoft, have mutually agreed to postpone making a feature film based on the Halo video game universe until we can fulfill the promise we made to millions of Halo fans throughout the world that we would settle for no less than bringing a first class film to the big screen. We are fully supportive of Director Neill Blomkamp’s vision of the film. Neill is a tremendously gifted filmmaker and his preliminary work on Halo is truly awe-inspiring. While it will undoubtedly take a little longer for Halo to reach the big screen, we are confident that the final feature film will be well worth the wait.

Oh well, another brainless big budget blow-em-up bites the dust. More and more I feel like we’re living in something approaching post-Cleopatra time, when the studios couldn’t figure out why throwing insane amounts of money at over-hyped spectacle films didn’t work anymore. Only this time instead of the movie brats taking over the system, they’ve got pretty free reign over the “classics” divisions of the studios – as long as they keep the budget in a reasonable place.

The back-burnering of Halo is nothing less than a triumph for people who love movies.