Oh Em Gee! Someone Said Halo Movie!

mc091234John Campea of The Movie Blog likes to point out quite often that video game movies suck. Sadly, I’d have to agree. I suppose you could call me a “gamer,” but I really only follow a few franchises – “Halo,” “Gears of War,” and “Call of Duty” – and I’m rarely impressed or surprised by other games. I think “BioShock” and “Dead Space” are the only other games of late that have been both awesome in gameplay and easily destined for something cinematic. Truthfully, aside from “Halo,” my “following” of “Gears” and “Call of Duty” is passive at best.

So let’s talk about “Halo.” Why do I love it? Well, for two different reasons. First off, the gameplay, while repetative, is only fun because of XBOX Live and that is only fun because of the immense amount of trash talking that takes place. I jump on XBOX Live and play “Halo 3” not to rise to the highest ranks of Halodom, but to laugh with my friends and say naughty words at teenagers and rednecks. But my primary love of Halo comes from the story. It is riveting, deep and full of backstory. Laugh if you want, but there are many who would agree.

And it seemed for awhile the stars were aligned. Peter “Lord of the Rings” Jackson signs on as producer and hires a talented “noob” as director, none other than “District 9” helmer Neill Blomkamp. The wheels start spinning before the release of “Halo 3” in 2007 and Blomkamp actually put together some shorts that set-up the story in “Halo 3.” As of now, the project is dead. Microsoft was deemed a cadre of greedy bastards by Hollywood and both Fox and Universal pulled out of the deal.

I bring up the “Halo” movie because of a post last week on the MTV Movies Blog. Blogger Adam Rosenburg references a Sci-Fi wire story about how “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” writer Stuart Beattie, in his free time during the 2007 writer’s strike, penned a screenplay based on Eric Nylund’s “Fall of Reach.” Apparently Beattie is a huge fan of the franchise and is pining for a movie to be made. He says, “It’s like our generation’s Star Wars. The whole Halo nation that’s out there, and a 100,000-year history of the Halo universe, it’s just breathtaking and so much fun to play in that sandbox. I’ve read every book, played every game, every graphic novel. It’s just a fun world to be in.”

My prediction skills aren’t the best, especially when it comes to my passions, but despite evidence to the contrary, I don’t think the “Halo” movie is dead. It might not be moving, but it’s not dead. There is too much happening in the “Halo” universe for a movie not to happen. You’ve got “Halo 3: ODST” that hits shelves on September 22nd, the recent announcement of “Halo: Reach” due in 2010 (which MTV’s Rosenburg erroneously cites as “rumored” in his blog story), a new anime series from Microsoft called “Halo Legends” and the creation of a new XBOX Live gathering place for “Halo” nerds called “Halo Waypoint.” Oh, and don’t forget a little movie called “District 9” hitting theaters in a few weeks from Neill Blomkamp and Peter Jackson. Maybe if “District 9” is as awesome as it looks, the trust in Mr. Blomkamp’s abilities to helm a triple digit blockbuster budget might be earned.

So what does this all mean? Could be nothing, or it could be the stars beginning to align for a story that absolutely must come to the big screen. Personally, I think the folks involved know their time is limited and if they don’t strike soon, then truly the “Halo” movie will be dead and gone.

9 comments On Oh Em Gee! Someone Said Halo Movie!

  • As a gamer from the time i was able to crawl to my pong controller i love ribbing Halo fanboi’s, simply cause its such a mediocre game with a story thats just as mediocre and lets not talk about Halo3’s terrible framerates and unprecise controls.

    That said, the first halo had some things going for it, an automatic health return system when you would run for cover(which every game nowadays uses)and solid havok physics for its time. I loved launching warthogs full of marines.

    If you remember the opening to Halo 90% of its story and execution were dragged right from Cameron’s Aliens.

    Hell the first Half-Life pc game had a more original and compelling story and its sequal set the bar for games like Halo to borrow from.

    I guess if one grew up playing Halo its pretty awesome but for us old timers there’s much better material out there that deserves to see the light of day over Bungie’s game.

  • Danny, don’t be so bitter toward Halo. It’s the fanboys that have turned you off me thinks. Especially if you’re talking about terrible framerates and imprecise controls. My experience is most people who criticize the gameplay do so because they’re not quite up to snuff for the multiplayer portion of the game, and getting teabagged and verbally abused by a 12 year old is never fun. I’ve been there, I know.

    As for the story, while I definitely see some elements from “Aliens” in the opening of Halo, I think that’s painting with a pretty broad brush. Most sci-fi movies take inspiration from other visions/sources. Pick up Eric Nylund’s novels or any of the other Halo novels and you’ll see the detail and backstory I’m talking about.

    Again, by way of “inspiration”, I think we could say the same thing about Half-Life, whose plot seems a retread of the infecting/infesting aliens delivered via a portal and the subsequent government attempt to cover their tracks line of storytelling, i.e. Quake, Doom, Resident Evil all come to mind.

  • Danny’s got some valid points. The Marines personnel/weapons/warship design relies heavily on Aliens, as does the pivotal Sgt. Johnson, while the soldier boy story of Nylunds novels borrows from Ender’s Game and, I hate to say it… Soldier. Even the Halo world idea is gleaned from Larry Niven’s Ringworld. But I’d have to side with Andrew– it’s still a fun, involving story that I’ve likened on more than one occasion to this generation’s Star Wars. That may be an overstatement, but Star Wars cribbed from some pulpy 40’s films and serials as well as Akira Kurosawa and Arthurian legend. As long as it’s a story well told, there’s room for everybody!

    I know Half Life has it’s merits… but I think we’re talking computer gaming versus console here… and that’s a war that will leave far too many geek corpses strewn around to be fought.

  • I cannot believe anything Danny says about Halo because I know he pooped a little turd of joy when Sam Raimi got hired for WOW. We all have our Nerd Town love affairs and Halo is mine.

  • Sam Raimi does nothing for me, for one..he hired Toby to be peter parker, complete git.

    Spiderman3 was a f*cking joke.

    Sam Raimi should be shot on sight.

  • Darn it to heck, i appologize for my last post.
    Im probably the only heathen who frequents this site after having one too many drinks on a saturday night.

    Sorry for my potty mouth.

  • We appreciate any comments, drunken or otherwise!

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