Neill Blomkamp says Halo film dead
Neill Blomkamp was lined up to direct the film Halo, based on the successful series of videogames for Microsoft's XBox, but the project was cancelled when the budget began to escalate and now it looks as though it is totally dead, despite Blomkamp's attempts at raising it through a series of short films.
Now he's spoken out about the project and these short clips he's made, and the discussion sounds incredibly final. Halo is indeed, dead.
The three short films he made for the Internet audience and the Halo game fans to get excited about were made without any of the props from the film, props which I'm surprised were made at the early stages that the Halo film was at before it was turned around, and with no intention of being a reflection of the film itself. So why make them?
"In essence, those pieces have zero to do with the film…Like less than zero…the design and everything that we'd made for the film is just locked up in some locker somewhere…so all of the stuff for the shorts is specifically for the short films, from scratch…
…I worked on the film for a few months and we developed a lot of things during that time, and none of that has anything to do with the shorts…
…There was not even one percent of my mind in doing those short pieces to try and resurrect the film."
So what are the short films all about? He doesn't seem that sure himself, and his explanation does sound even stranger.
"Bungie and Microsoft asked me if I wanted to be involved in the Halo 3 promotional stuff, just because I knew all of the guys at Bungie, and I was like Yeah, sure, that sounds like fun…It's basically, I guess, viral advertising for Halo 3, it's one of the many different promotional pieces you find out there."
The three short clips he made are how he really wanted the film to look, he says that he wanted the film to…
"…feel like the most brutal, real version of science fiction in a war environment that you've seen in a while. And Universal was on board with that. I don't really remember what Fox thought about it, but Universal seemed down with it."
The clips definitely hinted at that, although there was a big gap between that and a finished article. I do believe that these shorts were pointing in the right direction.
On the subject of the film itself the interview makes him sound pretty bitter about it all and quite down, it does sound as though he had a passion for it being made.
"The film is entirely dead. In the configuration it was in. Whatever happens with that movie, assuming that movie gets made, will be a totally different configuration. It's not so much me as the entire vessel sank…"
Still, with that comment "in the configuration it was in" it does suggest that there's some hope for the film to make it through to the big screen eventually, perhaps not with Blomkamp though, and later in the interview he confirms that these shorts weren't to resurrect the film, and at the same time he makes it clear just how dead the project is:
"I know how hard it fell, and I know that doing things like that was not how you're going to get it back on its feet."
Very dead then. I guess we should end our belief right now.
I think this is a real catastrophe and shows that Hollywood is very confused about how videogame adaptations could actually be made to earn money. Halo has a huge audience, the release of Halo 3 would have been an ideal jumping block for a film, and the universe it occupies in terms of story is rich, deep, well researched and created, and visually dramatic. So why couldn't it be made? Would the budget really have outstripped the returns?
Here are the Halo clips all strung together from You Tube: