Sunday, August 9, 2009

Spielberg's HALO

The HALO franchise may be about to get one of the strongest names in Hollywood behind it. This would be a very good thing all around.
IESB Exclusive: Master Chief and HALO May Be Coming to the Big Screen Sooner than Expected with a New Big Name Producer
Written by Robert Sanchez Friday, 07 August 2009 19:12 PDFPrintE-mail
HALO, the wildly popular video games that follow Master Chief, a cybernetically-enhanced human super-soldier, and his artificial intelligence (AI) companion, Cortana as they aide future humanity in battling the Covenant, a theocratic alliance of alien races, may be coming to the big screen much sooner than we expected.

IESB has learned exclusively (believe me this is solid and I've confirmed it three times over with studio executives and our close ties to CAA) that one of the biggest producers in Hollywood history is currently in active negotiations to develop the feature film adaptation and no it's not Jerry Bruckheimer or Peter Jackson. It's the man behind Jaws, E.T., Indiana Jones and Transformers, Mr. Steven Spielberg.

Spielberg is blown away by writer Stuart Beattie's take on the game in his script entitled HALO THE FALL OF REACH. This coupled with the fact that his Dreamworks umbrella is looking for a big tent pole to help launch their newly independant studio with distribution over at Walt Disney Pictures after losing Transformers to Paramount in the separation, it's the perfect combination.

Also, Spielberg is a huge gaming fan. His prodigal star Shia LaBeouf has been quoted talking about Spielberg being stuck on the 15th level of BioShock recently,

"I get there and stick my head in to ask if he's ready-and this is classic Spielberg-he says, ‘Nope, Shia. I'm trapped!' " LaBeouf then starts playing both parts-concerned protégé and faraway mentor:

"You're trapped? Steven, what are you talking about?"

"I'm trapped back here. Follow my voice."

"Where are you?"

"Over here... Here... Here!"

LaBeouf kept following the calls until he got to the director's office. And there was the master himself: shoes off, socks on, dressed in shooting gear, but sitting behind a computer, stuck on the fifteenth level of a first-person shooter called BioShock.

"This is like months to get to this level, and he can't get past this one little mysterious spider god, and he's losing his mind. He's like, ‘I can't do it, Shia! I can't do it.' "

Word is CAA, who rep both Spielberg and Beattie, is pushing these negotiations heavily.

HALO belongs to Microsoft and they own all rights to a feature film and happen to have a great relationship with the producer who even unveiled their lastest gaming technology Project Natal at the E3 Expo earlier this year. It doesn't hurt to have Bill Gates as a good friend so I hear.

Stuart Beattie, the writer behind the new concept that Spielberg loves, was quite busy during the 2007 writer's strike when he wrote the script on spec based on the storyline from Eric Nyland's prequel novel to HALO, THE FALL OF REACH. Beattie is also hot off the summer hit G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA which he co-wrote with director Stephen Sommers and others. During the promotional tour for that film, he toldScifi.com that the HALO story is, "an amazing story about this child that no one cares about and who cares for no one else, who kind of ends up saving all of humanity."

Back on April Fools Day of 2008, Latino Review broke the news of the new Beattie script and had a write up on what it was all about,

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 script also gives detailed outlines for the second movie, HALO: RISE OF THE FLOOD, which takes place entirely on the Halo ringworld, and the third and final movie, HALO: BATTLE FOR EARTH, which roughly follows the events of Halo 3, the game.

One cool advantage of this first script is that (like the shark in JAWS) you don't even see the Covenant until halfway through the movie. And because all the creatures are CGI creations, this cuts the budget down dramatically and makes a first Halo movie that much more viable. For Halo fans, it's like the prequel that provides all the answers to questions they've thought about for years. For non Halo fans, it's an exciting action movie that provides a clear, concise introduction to a world five hundred years in the future with relatable characters and a terrifying alien menace.

The site also posted 5 pieces of concept art that Beattie came up with to illustrate his vision for the franchise.

Recently, sites have been reporting that the HALO project is completely dead after it halted under the guidance of Peter Jackson and director Neil Blomkamp with 20th Century Fox distributing.

But with Spielberg now in active negotiations, this shit is about to get real!

With Spielberg possibly in the producer's chair (if God willing these negotiations work out), who would be his first choice to direct HALO? Sound off in our comments section below!

Stay tuned to the IESB for future HALO news!


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