I can’t recall how many times over the last two years I’ve written about possible rumblings and rumors regarding the locked-in-development-hell Halo movie. You remember the Halo movie, right? Yeah, remember when Halo was a big deal, when it actually had some momentum? It was in 2005-2006, at the peak of Halo 2 and its eye-popping popularity on XBOX Live, and right before the release of Halo 3 in 2007. The buzz was high and Peter Jackson – yes, the Peter Jackson – was going to executive produce a movie version of the game and hired first-time director Neill Blomkamp to helm the flick. To make a long story short, Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox backed out of their deal with the heavy-handed Microsoft and the Halo movie was no more. Dead. Gone. Jackson went on to The Lovely Bones and Blomkamp went on to direct the Oscar-nomiated District 9, effectively giving the bird to all the doubters who said he was the wrong pick for Halo. As for Master Chief, he floated off into space via cryo-sleep in Halo 3, and Bungie and Microsoft’s attempts, while successful financially, to keep the Spartan fire lit, ultimately fizzled with Halo: ODST and Halo: Reach. It seemed to me, the magic was gone. The window on Halo’s cinema potential was closed.
And then I saw the trailer for the forthcoming (2012) Halo 4 below a few days ago and had a Viagra moment. Maybe it’s the initial giddiness of seeing Master Chief zipping through space with his half-naked A.I., Cortana, but something stirred inside me and I’m crossing my fingers a new story – a new Halo trilogy – will rouse the movie from its long-cemented purgatory and Microsoft will capitalize and strike while the fire, hopefully, is hot. I have to think with the November 2011 re-release of Halo: Combat Evolved (now with updated and HD graphics and XBOX Live play) that a bigger plan is in effect and that it’s not just about selling video games, but about re-energizing a franchise that once had the potential to be something special at the cinema. Time will tell and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
What about you? Excited for Halo 4? Or is the franchise too late to the table now?