The battle to get a 'Halo' movie has been a long struggle filled with big plans and dashed hopes. We've seen the likes of Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp attached to direct, Denzel Washington in talks to star and scripts arise from Alex Garland ('28 Days Later') and Stuart Beattie ('G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra'). Time and time again, though, nothing comes of it. What's keeping one of the more epic and popular video game franchises from getting the Hollywood adaptation treatment? Nothing so dramatic, actually: disputes over contracts, budgetary concerns, licensing disagreements and so on and so forth.
So here we are, nearly a decade after the first Halo game arrived on the Xbox, shook up the whole gaming industry and went on to produce more than a few record breaking sequels. 'Resident Evil' got a few movies. 'Prince of Persia' got a movie. Heck, even 'Bloodrayne' got a movie! Granted, none of those were good movies, but you'd think a potential blockbuster like 'Halo' would find a way to cut through the red tape and crawl to the top of the production queue.
Frustrations and delays aside, Kotaku has a story (which originated with the New York Game Critics) that features 'Halo' franchise development director Frank O'Connor telling a room full of people that "There will be a Halo movie."
Mr. O'Connor doesn't offer a grain of salt, but we here at Cinematical will. In fact, here's an entire shaker of salt ... just in case.
The room full of people that were informed of this inevitable 'Halo' movie were attendees at the Future of Television East conference, which seems like an odd place for a video game developer to be hanging around until you get to this choice quote:
"We'd love to see Halo as a television series. Look what HBO did with Band of Brothers or even Rome. Something like that would work because the Halo universe is so vast."
If you want to hear more of O'Connor talking about how awesome Halo is (and sounding like a bit of a jerk), check out the links above, but here comes the fun debate: where would any future adaptation of 'Halo' be right at home? On the big screen at your local multiplex or on your television once a week?
In many ways, 'Halo' feels suitably cinematic, a big Hollywood movie waiting to happen. As far as action-driven tales of intergalactic conflict go, you can't get a much bigger or exciting film than this. Although desperately lacking in the story and character department (gaps that a talented screenwriter should have no trouble filling), the 'Halo' universe feels big in the same way that 'The Lord of the Rings' or 'Star Wars' feel big. It's easy to imagine Earth's war with the fanatical alien race known as the Covenant stretching across three films.
However, it's also easy to see how this franchise could benefit from a serialized treatment. Although science fiction has been a part of the TV landscape for over fifty years, many recent series have only managed to appeal to a niche audience. As acclaimed as it was, the new 'Battlestar Galactica' didn't exactly light the ratings on fire and the later 'Star Trek' spin-offs died a death that could best be described as slow and painful. With 'V' having officially failed to fill the geeky-but-mainstream gap left by 'Lost,' maybe it's time for a beloved commodity like 'Halo' to move into that real estate. Naturally, the show would require some extreme retooling (they could start by making Master Chief a real character), but the thought of a long-form sci-fi war series is tantalizing. Just imagine an AMC Sunday night featuring 'The Walking Dead' and 'Halo' back to back.
But all of this is simple speculation. What think you, humble video game and/or movie and TV fan? Where would you rather see 'Halo'? Do you want to see a 'Halo' adaptation at all? Or have you all moved on to 'Call of Duty' by now?