Not content to own the internet and the productivity of most Fortune Five Hundred companies, Microsoft is on its way to conquering Hollywood, and they’re doing it the Microsoft way… by controlling absolutely everything.

We talked several months ago about a possible movie based on what is by now one of the most successful video games in gaming history, Halo 2. Microsoft and game designing subsidiary Bungie had been shopping around the rights, but were dissatisfied with most of the pitches being thrown at them. Rather than continuing to shop, and putting their lucrative franchise into the hands of someone who might ruin it, MS took control and hired their own screenwriter, 28 Days Later’s Alex Garland.

Well, now the latest word from Variety is that Garland is finished, and Microsoft is out shopping the script, with their own big money style flair. Monday, messengers dressed as the XBox game’s main character Master Chief descended on studio offices bearing copies of the script. To be approved for shopping, the script had to be approved both my MS Execs and the guys at Bungie, which makes me feel pretty good. I don’t trust Microsoft’s boardroom executives, but the team at Bungie has made it clear they’ll settle for nothing less than a movie of the highest quality. If they’ve signed off on it, there’s a chance the script may actually be pretty damned good.

I know, it’s pretty easy to poo poo another movie based on a video game, but if you’ve spent even a minute with Halo or Halo 2 you’ll recognize that there’s huge theatrical potential here. Whatever issues folks might have with XBox or the ending of the last game, put them aside because there’s a real opportunity for something great.

Whether Hollywood agrees, or at least sees something profitable remains up in the air. Microsoft is asking 10 million against 15% of the gross and strict creative control for whichever studio ends up the winning bidder. New Line Cinema and DreamWorks have already passed and of course Sony is out of contention since they are a direct XBox competitor as the makers of Playstation. If it gets made, the potential for something good is there. Hanging on to creative control assures that this is at least one videogame property that won’t be handed over for destruction by Uwe Boll or Paul "The Bad One" Anderson.

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