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One Small Step For A Man (Named Stuart)

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One Small Step For A Man (Named Stuart)

A giant leap for gaming kind as we see what the writer of the Halo screenplay has to say

Posted by Dekko on Jul 19th 2009 14:18

OK folks, here’s another movie shot for y’all, I know I’ve been doing a lot of them recently but hey they’re a lot of games being made in to films so judge not lest ye be judged, mutha-baby!

Besides, I think that quite a few of you couch nuggets and cyber jocks will be interested in this one a little more than the rest for it is that fabled film we all know could/should be great; HALO.

Last year, a Halo screenplay called Halo: Fall of Reach had some concept art splashed about all over the web and a lot of clever people became hot and sweaty.

The script, written by Pirates of the Caribbean writer Stuart Beattie is Beattie's adaptation of the Halo novel of the same name which, having read, I reckon would be a perfect jumping off point for the franchise as a movie series.

Our mate Stuart wrote the screenplay during the writer's strike on his lonesome, for nothing because he is a huge Halo fan, loving the franchise he, like us, can see the potential and wanted to see a movie actually get made.

Beattie recently spoke with Sci-fi Wire about Halo: Fall of Reach and discussed the shenanigans involved with the project.

He said; "I really believe a Halo movie would just be awesome, especially this Halo movie." His enthusiasm is encouraging, at least.

"I just think it's 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," Beattie said while sitting in full Mjolnir armour.

The Halo movie has had quite a checkered past, what with the original rumour of Peter Jackson’s involvement which turned out to be a separate project, which is yet to see the light of day but his Weta Workshop was said to be involved, along with Jackson as an Executive Producer and thus all looked set to herald the movie we all hoped for but (and that’s a big but!!) the project got scrapped when Microsoft couldn't agree with Fox and Universal on the budget.

Our pal Stuart reckons; "I firmly believe that the first Halo movie needs to be the Fall of Reach story, because it sets up all the characters, the world, the Covenant, the big struggle between mankind and the aliens, all that stuff," he explains. "So that's where my money is."

As for the kind of budget necessary to make Halo: Fall of Reach, Beattie mentions that "it's a big $100 million-plus film” and I think we’d all agree it has to be.

However, as we know all too well through experience, game movies usually aren't that great (we all hope this’ll change with Prince of Persia but who knows until we see it?) and don’t do too well at the box office which, to a non-gaming studio exec board who don’t understand the enormity of Halo, will not show the game as a winning prospect, if we look at it in those terms.

However, if the numbers are shown, such as number of players online and units shifted etc along with the franchises’ other products, such as comics, novels and trading cards then the money minded board may reconsider.

The example of interest in a Ghostbusters game by an online petition and thus the scripting of Ghostbusters 3 with a green light looking likely is an example of consumer power working for the better.

"Once my generation of filmmakers start to get to that position where they allow us to make these big-budget films based on these video games, then we'll start to get some really great movies based on video games," Beattie said.

"I think it's the same as books, [and] it's the same as comic books. I think not every video game should be made into a movie, just like not every book should be made into a movie. Not every comic book should, but certain ones definitely should, because they're so visual, the characters are so rich and the mythology is so vast that they should. Halo is definitely one of the shoulds."

I couldn’t of put it better myself and I think we’d all agree with Beattie’s sane reasoning here, quieting the discord of the term ‘video game movie’ as something instantly base and unworthy, seeing as The Dark Knight, based on a comic, is so highly regarded.

This is the level the Halo movie should be working on and I’d like to see an 18 certificate, a 15 at least but who knows if we'll ever even see a Halo movie?

If things go very well over the next few years, it could just happen, but here’s the thing; there is a general feeling amongst knowing movie types that little Petey Jackson is using the upcoming film District 9 (check the trailer out) as a sounding board for Neill Blomkamp’s directing ability on a big feature and to see how the public responds, can he direct a big feature and can he put bums on seats in the cinema?

So if you want to see a Halo movie then not only does that movie need to be disco hot at the box office in August, but Prince of Persia needs to be a worldwide hit as well. No small task, then.

So, if the stew boils down well and we lose a lot of studio gristle and all of the above happens (so please go see those movies!) a Halo film moving into production with Neill Blomkamp at the helm and Peter Jackson producing, the same as before, it could just happen. But no-one can predict the future otherwise this would all be easy peasy.

"I would just love to see a Halo movie up there on screen. It's magnificent," Beattie says.

As always, the moment we bring up the Halo movie, there's always a discussion surrounding it.

So, what do you think?

Editor Note: image courtesy of slashgames.com

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