Just when you thought a film project was in the ground, the video game basis for it goes on and grosses $200 million in one day!
This is exactly what has happened to the much-postponed Halo film. For at least two studios (Fox and Universal), the project was considered money poison, as both of them poured millions into the development of a franchise they would eventually send packing. But now DreamWorks believes they have the answer, and it involves using the novelizations of the games as the basis for the script.
How they’re going to manage to use Expanded Universe material without pissing the fans off is something that is going to be worth watching. Also, how they think they can avoid the money pit aspects the property now has a reputation for is also going to take some skill, as reportedly Universal alone lost something in the neighborhood of $12 million, before deciding to drop out of their partnership with Fox.
The other factor in all of this is Microsoft. The word is they are not going to want any Hollywood production messing up their $8 billion cash cow (something I don’t think could ever happen; the games are a stand-alone entity), so if there’s even the slightest thing about this they’re not comfortable with expect them to step in and cause problems.
So while DreamWorks is now the primary house for the Halo movie, this story is far from over. For a great rundown on the history of this theatrical soap opera thus far, head on over to NY Magazine.