Welcome to the New Shacknews

You're currently viewing the beginning of a full site renovation for Shacknews.com. You might find something working oddly. If you do, let us know! More exciting new features to follow.

Halo movie canned due to Microsoft's aggressive profit demands

Whatever happened to the Halo movie? Microsoft demanded too much, a new report claims.

19

Whatever happened to the Halo movie? Aliens, guns, explosions, and a massive audience already devoted to the franchise--it seemed like a massive blockbuster in the making. Names like Peter Jackson were attached--but then the movie disappeared.

So what happened? Microsoft demanded too much, a new report claims. The terms Microsoft was seeking would have been "the richest, most lucrative rights deal in history" and that "no property, not even Harry Potter" was able to get anything similar. Did Microsoft bite off more than it could chew?

An excerpt of a new book, Generation Xbox (via Wired), talks about the onerous terms Microsoft demanded. Microsoft wanted "$10 million against 15% of the box office gross, in addition to a $75 million 'below-the-line' budget and fast-tracked production."

Eventually, Fox and Universal were tied to the project. But progress on production was slow, and in October 2006, Universal demanded that the producers' deals be cut. Microsoft refused, and instantly the Halo movie died. "When you have a corporation that potent and that large taking a percentage of the profits, then you've got Peter Jackson taking a percentage of the profits and you start adding all of that stuff up, mixed with the fact that you have two studios sharing the profits, suddenly the return on the investment starts to decline so that it becomes not worth making," the film's would-be director Neill Blomkamp said. "Ultimately, that's essentially what killed the film."

"Microsoft's unwillingness to reduce their deal killed the deal," agrees Creative Artists Agency's Larry Shapiro. "Their unwillingness to reduce their gross in the deal meant it got too top-heavy. That movie could have been Avatar."

The "legacy" of the canned Halo movie, taking advantage of unused test footage and assets created by Weta Workshop, can be seen in Landfall, a live action commercial that would promote the release of Halo 3. Sony Pictures would later sign Blomkamp for District 9, a sci-fi action movie that features an armored hero using alien weaponry.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    April 19, 2012 4:45 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Halo movie canned due to Microsoft's aggressive profit demands.

    Whatever happened to the Halo movie? Microsoft demanded too much, a new report claims.

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 4:57 PM

      They demanded Hollywood be honest with its accounting.

      • reply
        April 19, 2012 7:01 PM

        Would be mighty hypocritical of Microsoft to demand honest out of anybody.

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 4:57 PM

      Probably for the better. When the parties that be so completely motivated by profit the end result is usually a movie trying to please everyone and ending up being utterly forgettable, mediocre garbage. It could've been an awesome movie series.

      • reply
        April 19, 2012 5:32 PM

        We like to point out the video game adaptions of movies are usually trash, but I'd guess the opposite is at least as likely. Or in this case, maybe even more so. I'm sure a Halo movie could have been at least as engaging as say, Super Mario Bros or Doom.

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 4:58 PM

      Ok, video game movies are horrible anyways.

      • reply
        April 19, 2012 5:05 PM

        HEY! I liked...ummm...errrr..well, ummmm...OK, I guess you're right.

        • reply
          April 19, 2012 6:33 PM

          The Tomb Raider movies, and the first Resident Evil movie, are the best. And while they're entertaining, they're not exactly great.

          Everything else I've seen has been awful.

      • reply
        April 19, 2012 5:36 PM

        Mortal Kombat begs to differ.

        • reply
          April 19, 2012 6:09 PM

          MK was still awful, just not as awful as most other VG movies.

          • reply
            April 19, 2012 6:11 PM

            resident evil wasn't so bad

            • reply
              April 19, 2012 6:26 PM

              Yeah I like the RE movies, mainly because the games are a generic movie plot anyhow

            • reply
              April 19, 2012 6:27 PM

              Totally forgot about that movie. I agree!

            • reply
              April 20, 2012 1:04 AM

              It was bad.

      • reply
        April 19, 2012 6:38 PM

        I like the resident evil series! It's some good zombie killing action.

        • reply
          April 19, 2012 7:06 PM

          Agreed, they are very watchable, although have little in common with the games (for better or worse)

        • reply
          April 19, 2012 8:11 PM

          Agreed!

        • reply
          April 20, 2012 9:26 AM

          Disagreed!

      • reply
        April 19, 2012 7:07 PM

        Silent Hill was pretty awesome.

        • reply
          April 19, 2012 7:09 PM

          I liked it better then the game... :/

      • reply
        April 19, 2012 8:51 PM

        Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Enough said :p Altough most video game based movies do suck.

        • reply
          April 20, 2012 5:02 AM

          so did the prince of persia movie suck or not?

      • reply
        April 20, 2012 5:23 AM

        Doom wasn't a good movie but I found it entertaining.

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 5:17 PM

      I don't think Microsoft was completely in the wrong here when you think about the tons of crappy game to movie adaptions. Who could blame them for wanting to have director/writer control and final approval over one of their major IPs. A bad film could damage the brand a bit and I think that is what they are wanting to avoid.

      Who remembers the cringe worthy adaptions like Mario, Doom, Wing Commander that almost had nothing to do with the game.

      • reply
        April 19, 2012 6:42 PM

        I agree except I think Mario Bros was kind of awesome, it's not like there was a lot to make a full length movie out of there anyway.

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 5:31 PM

      I'm really glad Blomkamp never ended up being pulled into it. And Jackson giving him the chance to make his first great breakout film instead.

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 5:37 PM

      the movie would've been a terrible product of two greedy companies. However, I really enjoyed the animated shorts in Halo Legends.

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 5:59 PM

      Stupid. F*ck%ng. Microsoft.

      Lets get no money, instead of lots of money.

      Makes sense to me.

      • reply
        April 19, 2012 7:08 PM

        There are no simple answers in life.

        Just because Shacknews reports this information does not for a second mean no other information exists on this subject. It is very likely there are other factors at play. Other factors like a shit director or possibly microsoft execs didn't like the way the film was shaping up. Who knows. Giant corporations are rarely "stupid" unless its a direct result of them being giant corporations.

      • reply
        April 19, 2012 9:40 PM

        what about Hollywood? 85% isnt so bad

      • reply
        April 20, 2012 7:30 AM

        Yea, lets water down our insanely popular IP with a crappy movie in exchange for a one time influx of revenue.

        You should get your MBA!

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 6:30 PM

      Couldn't Microsoft just make it themselves?

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 6:45 PM

      I thought this was commonly known back around Halo 3's release. I mean MSFT sent a guy dressed like Master Chief to deliver the script to the studios.

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 7:00 PM

      I still think Halo would make a good movie, especially if they mostly used content from the novels and started with the beginning of the Spartan program (ala the "Fall of Reach" book). For novels based on a videogame IP, they're not half bad stories.

      • reply
        April 20, 2012 12:50 AM

        The Fall of Reach is a fantastic book. If they ever made a movie I would hope it would be based on that story. The boxing ring part would be awesome to see

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 9:50 PM

      that clip was pretty decent

    • reply
      April 20, 2012 4:41 AM

      WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

      There you go.

      What a shit company this has become.

    • reply
      April 20, 2012 5:00 AM

      That's bullshit. The movie was canned for insufficient teabagging.

    • reply
      April 20, 2012 5:34 AM

      the world of warcraft movie will be the next one canceled

    • reply
      April 20, 2012 6:02 AM

      didnt they try to shop around the "script" by having a halo dude/master chief in full armor posted at the door of the movie executive while he was supposed to read the pamphlet in one go?

    • reply
      April 20, 2012 6:45 AM

      Who cares? Blomkamp went on to make District 9, which IMO is one of the best original sci-fi movies of the last 10 years.

    • reply
      April 20, 2012 1:16 PM

      Doesn't mean it *can't* happen later. It might just take a while for someone to generate interest again.