Ridley Scott is producing a Halo "digital feature," and Battlestar Galactica's Sergio Mimica-Gezzan has reportedly signed on to direct. This project is separate from the Halo pilot Steven Spielberg is producing for XBox One.
It wasn’t too long ago that fans of the video game franchise Halo were disappointed by the news that the film adaptation they had always been waiting for was, indeed, cancelled. 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures had planned to co-finance the film, only to mutually back out due to budgetary concerns. It looked like the project that was so hyped it had its scripts delivered to studios by costumed couriers would never see the light of day in any shape of form.
That is, until last year, when Steven Spielberg was announced as an Executive Producer on a version of the project that would bring the world of Master Chief to the small screen. Now The Wrap has reported that a new "digital feature" is being lined up by Ridley Scott and his production studio,Scott Free. Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (a former assistant director on several Spielberg hits, as well as director of some Battlestar Galactica episodes) is set to direct the "chaptered feature", with Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring on writing duty. For a franchise that went from the hottest property up for bid to a washed out video game adaptation, this isn’t a bad bounce back into the public eye.
Now this isn’t to be confused with the previously mentioned Halo TV series that’s being developed for air exclusively through Xbox Live. In fact, the story goes on to mention Halo 4: Forward Onto Dawn as the vein that this project would follow in. Forward was a web series, later compiled into a movie, for YouTube channel, Machinima. That series followed a young soldier who would grow up to fight in the grand cosmic war that was Halo 4.
This time, audiences will follow the live of a Spartan project soldier (who isn’t Master Chief) as he fights against whatever evil forces are trying to destroy the Universe in this incarnation. While it’s great to see a new Halo adaptation in the works, it’s even better to see two gearing up to tell a story that has a lot of expanded universe potential. Which, naturally, poses a really big question to Microsoft : are they aiming to make the Halo universe the next Marvel Cinematic Universe?
With little to nothing known about the story to the next Halo game, it’s quite possible that Microsoft is using this downtime in the franchise’s lifespan to position itself to further expand the story of the games, as well as the filmed projects. After all, they did it with Forward, and it succeeded enough to make them bite the bullet and try for something bigger.
Still, it’s quite a shame that the original Halo film, which had District 9 director Neil Blomkamp at the helm, failed to launch. All we have left to remind us of what might have been is the awesome short form feature he directed to promote the release of Halo 3. It’s included below as a taste of the future that almost was. More details are expected at Microsoft’s E3 presentation in June, and the project is expected to debut by the year’s end.