As Kevin previously reported, both Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox recently pulled out of their commitment to co-finance the big-screen adaptation of the hugely popular Halo video game, citing concerns over a rising budget and novice director Neil Boekamp. Even though both studios dropped out, Halo developer Microsoft and Executive Producer Peter Jackson, through a statement made by his agent, expressed optimism that the film would eventually find new backers and still be made. Because of this, pre-production work on the film would continue until those backers were secured and the film could move forward with its new financing.

Apparently, their patience with the "looking for new backers" process was short-lived because according to a joint statement made today by Peter Jackson's Wingnut Films and Microsoft, pre-production on Halo is being officially and immediately halted. According to the statement:

"As was previously confirmed, we deeply regret that both Universal and Fox did not choose to move forward with financing the Halo film under the original terms of the agreement. At this time Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, along with their partner, Microsoft, have mutually agreed to postpone making a feature film based on the Halo video game universe until we can fulfill the promise we made to millions of Halo fans throughout the world that we would settle for no less than bringing a first class film to the big screen. We are fully supportive of Director Neill Blomkamp's vision of the film. Neill is a tremendously gifted filmmaker and his preliminary work on Halo is truly awe-inspiring. While it will undoubtedly take a little longer for Halo to reach the big screen, we are confident that the final feature film will be well worth the wait."

That's a nice thought and I'm glad they're so confident. But now that two studios have pulled out and production has been officially halted, it seems like it will take even more effort to get things going again -- even if they do eventually secure financing. I trust Peter Jackson and if he says the Halo movie will eventually happen, then I guess it might.

Still, with all the trouble the Halo movie has had before it ever really got going, maybe its time to put the project to rest for good. After all, movies adapted from video games seldom perform very well at the box office (or in the minds of critics) and more than likely Halo would face the same fate. Like it or not, its hard to live up to so much hype; as much as fans might want the movie to happen, it would still be a huge gamble for any backer choosing to finance the film at this point. Besides, sometimes it's just better to cut your losses and move on.

What say you? Should the Halo movie live or die?
categories Movies, Cinematical