Remember back in 2006, a year before the release of the XBOX 360 game, Halo 3, when Peter Jackson brought every Master Chief-worshipping fanboy to the verge of nerdgasm with his announcement that he’d be producing a Neill Blomkamp-helmed (District 9) big-budget, live-action version of one of the most popular video-game franchises of all-time? I remember those days with fondness. I remember the haters crapping on Blomkamp’s lack of experience and I remember me giving them the bird when District 9 was nominated for a best picture Oscar in 2010. I also remember when the Halo movie took its final turns around the cinematic toilet bowl, finally being flushed into the sewer of development hell, where it remains today as a bitter, angry alligator, just waiting for the right person to come a long and resurrect it from obscurity.
Since the Halo movie’s death in 2009, I’ve maintained its window of popularity has officially closed. Sure, Halo: ODST and Halo: Reach have had some success, but those games, including last fall’s Halo: Combat Evolved anniversary release, have been trumped by the leviathan known as Call of Duty. However, with the announcement of a new Halo trilogy and the first game, Halo 4, hitting store shelves on November 6, 2012, the tide may be turning for the once popular game franchise and, if you believe 343 Industries Matt McCloskey, director of franchise business management, it’s not a matter of if, but of when, especially considering the live-action web series, called Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Microsoft will roll out on XBOX Live and Machinima.com for five weeks leading up to the release of Halo 4. Each episode will be 15 minutes long and will follow the story of a young UNSC cadet who was inspired by Master Chief and rises to UNSC leadership because of the Spartan’s influence. Frank O’ Connor, franchise development director at 343 Industries, says the web series will please both hardcore Halo fans and newbies taking their first steps into the vast and varied universe of Halo.
Me? I’d be lying if I said the picture above doesn’t get my juices flowing, but I’ve said that before and been burned by overhype. I’ll buy Halo 4 and I’ll cross my fingers for a movie, but until the cameras roll, my hopes will stay buried and I’ll get my fix via these 15 minute web vignettes.
What do you think? Is a Halo movie even relevant anymore?