Bad news for people who were looking forward to the Halo movie adapation, as Variety reports that Universal and Fox have ended their participation in the project. Both studios apparently got cold feet over the movie's budget, though Peter Jackson and co are saying the two companies wanted Microsoft and Jackson to reduce their profit participation. According to a Jackson rep, Microsoft is already in talks with other distribution partners and prep work on the movie continues.
Rumors of a budget that could approach $200 million raged Thursday, but Ken Kamins, who reps Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, vehemently denied that figure. The duo came aboard as exec producers, joining powerhouse producers Mary Parent, Scott Stuber and Peter Schlessel. "The only budget the filmmakers every spoke about was $145 million less the 12.5% rebate that you get from shooting in New Zealand, which would put it at about $128 million," Kamins said. "That was the only number that was ever discussed.