A movie adaptation of Bungie and Microsoft’s popular first person shooter game
Halo: Combat Evolved
has run into trouble,
Both Universal and Fox have withdrawn financing for the production following a dispute with the movie’s filmmakers and Microsoft itself over money.
— brought to the Mac by MacSoft — tells the story of Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced warrior who is humanity’s last stand against a xenophobic alien attacker called The Covenant. The game takes place on an artificially constructed ringworld that holds the secret to stopping The Covenant in their tracks. The game has spawned one hugely successful sequel for the Xbox and another game currently in development.
Originally shown to the public for the first time on the stage of Macworld Expo in New York, plans to publish
as a Mac and PC game were scrapped when Bungie was acquired by Microsoft; Bungie then recreated
as an Xbox exclusive. Later, the game was re-developed for the PC by Gearbox Software and published for the Mac and PC by MacSoft and Microsoft, respectively.
Plans to produce a movie version of
first came to light earlier this year. Microsoft wanted a somewhat unusual deal to bring the game to the movies, even by Hollywood standards, including a $5 million upfront payment. But Universal and Fox agreed to co-finance the picture.
Peter Jackson — whose credits include the
Lord of the Rings
— is attached as executive producer; first-time feature film director Neill Blomkamp has been named to helm the movie.
reports that Universal and Fox backed out after trying to get the filmmakers and Microsoft to reduce their profit participation. Although rumors suggest that the movie’s budget had ballooned far beyond the original $145 million, a representative for both Jackson and co-executive producer Fran Walsh disputes that, saying that Universal waited until the last minute to try to rework the deal. Jackson and Walsh “respectfully declined.”
out yet, however. The representative, Ken Kamins, said that Microsoft is already in talks with other distribution partners, and expressed confident that the creative team behind the movie “will take the film to production.”