‘Elysium’ Director Neill Blomkamp Still Interested in ‘Halo’ Movie

Published 2 years ago by

Master Chief Might Not Be Just An Animation Soon!

By now everyone knows the long, sad story of the still-unrealized Halo movie: Peter Jackson made a play for production rights with newcomer Neill Blomkamp directing, but the deal ultimately fell through, with Microsoft’s demand for control over their most profitable IP one of the major sticking points. Since then Jackson moved on, and Blomkamp showed his sci-fi chops with District 9, and is set to make the blockbuster action film Halo fans could only dream of with this year’s Elysium (2013).

But while promoting the film this week, Blomkamp was asked about his feelings toward a potential Halo film; whether it was something he still wishes he could direct, or if his work since had scratched that same itch. His response will certainly offer hope for those who still dream of him landing the job, but his major reservations are the same as they ever were.

It’s not hard to understand why Microsoft and 343 Industries aren’t in a hurry to simply hand over the reins of a Halo film to any studio writer, director, and producers. As the past video game-to-movie adaptations have proven, the results are usually downright insulting to anyone who watches them (we could list some examples, but it’s just too painful).

Halo Movie Rumor - Spielberg and Dreamworks

Even if they were inspired by the best intentions Microsoft’s demands for oversight were too much for studios to swallow, and while Blomkamp may love the franchise, the company’s restrictions are still something he’s wary of:

“I still really love the world and the universe and the mythology of Halo. If I was given control, I would really like to do that film. But that’s the problem. When something pre-exists, there’s this idea of my own interpretation versus 150 other people involved with the film’s interpretation of the same intellectual property. Then the entire filmgoing audience has their interpretation. You can really live up to or fail in their eyes. That part isn’t appealing to me, but the original pieces are appealing.”

Halo Neill Blomkamp Pelican

Screenshot of Blomkamp’s 2007 ‘Halo’ Short Film

Despite the Blomkamp-helmed Halo film that ultimately fell through, Microsoft has been completely open about their intentions to get a Halo movie made at some point, even if maintaining control over the course of the story and production meant financing the film themselves. The efforts to once again get a Halo film into production in 2011 stalled, even with Steven Spielberg attached to produce with DreamWorks. So Microsoft had the opportunity to put their money where there mouth is, and delivered the feature-length web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.

Taking a younger, more teen-aged slant on the origin story of the UNSC’s soldiers (both surgically-augmented and otherwise), Forward Unto Dawn helped set the stage for Halo 4 while also showing what a live-action Master Chief and co. would look like (outside of brief commercials). The results were impressive for fans of the extended fiction, but also highlight the increasing problems related to Blomkamp’s objections.

Since acquiring the Halo brand from Bungie in its entirety – and investing more money into marketing and the web series – it’s likely Microsoft will be more protective of the franchise at this point, not less. And going by the story conceits seen in the course of Halo 4‘s campaign, what once seemed like a straightforward universe ripe for some blockbuster storytelling is continuing its march into niche and heavy-handed science fiction. That’s all well and good for fans, but for a director or writer looking to tell a different story, it’s not a sign of artistic license being freely granted.

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Master Chief

Assuming that wasn’t the case, Blomkamp still has a fairly full schedule. Once Elysium has released, there is still his comedic follow-up Chappie to complete, along with the undying rumors of a District 10 and whatever other offers come his way should Elysium garner the attention it seems it will. In other words: a Halo movie is still a long way off.

Would you prefer to see a Halo movie come only when Microsoft’s conditions are met, or should they let a director and writer tackle the universe, even if it means risking tainting the franchise’s name? Sound off in the comments.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

TAGS: Halo, Microsoft

  • deadpool87

    Blomkamp, for me, is like the only person I feel could make a great Halo movie. Its either him or nobody.

    • disclaimer065

      I think a Microsoft-controlled Halo movie has more potential for failure than an independently written one. I’m not very familiar with Blomkamp’s work, but if he’s as big a fan as he claims to be I imagine he would do a very good job with it.

      • bio

        District 9, Elysium With short films that include Alive in Joburg Yellow by Neill Blomkamp and Temp Bot.

        And now you know.

  • luke perry glover

    Yeah hed probably do great. Just make the chiefs armour more like the games 😉 it looked very plasticky in the web series. Id love a halo movie.

  • Zero X Nova

    I could only see a Halo movie succeeding if they at some point planned to connect it to Cheif with a sequel. Sort of like doing a movie like Reach or ODST, where Cheif isn’t present, but maybe talked about, and then in a sequel bringing him out. Thats the only way

  • Breado the Great

    Originally the fall of reach was going to be part of the story; loosely. I like Blomkamp, and i think this could be a great story IF done correctly (duh). What that means exactly i dunno but Forward Unto Dawn was a great step in the right direction. Would love to see microsoft open up and at least kick the can around with a different director/writer.

  • IcemanHill

    there is so much source material to choose from. I don’t even see why the first movie needs to be about Master Chief…pull something cool from the novels and have Halo 2 or 4 bring in the chief once the universe is established.

  • max

    I don’t care for directors. I’ve been burned bad before (The last Airbender) and I want the creators to have full control Microsoft or bust. I hate when people do there own thing with franchises I care for.

  • bio

    The look and style the elysium has is exact same look and style I expect from a halo movie.

  • Austin

    I would rather see no movie at all than a badly planned hippie monstrosity that some jerk off would make in the name of “artistic license.” (I’m looking at you Karen Traviss and what you did to the novels.)

    As for a director I think James Cameron would be the best choice. He crafted one of the most loved sci-fi films of all time (excluding the original Star Wars Trilogy) in “Aliens” and he proved that he can still appeal to a more modern audience in his 2009 film, Avatar.

  • doc

    If fox hadn’t treated him like crap and bullied him out the door we might already have a Halo movie.
    Then again we probably wouldn’t have District 9.

  • AlexMech

    For the love of GOD PLEASE don’t do something STUPID in the name of artistic licence!!!!!!!!!! I HATE ARTISTS who re-interpret a already realised idea. And thats EXACTLY what happens every time with game to movie translations. If you can’t do it right leave it the HELL alone!

    • doc

      Considering the quality of the Halo short films he made I think he could do it while staying true to the material as much as possible.

  • Disciple

    The best way to do it at this point, in my opinion, is to make Halo 3 with ties into the fall of reach/the creation of chief. Then, follow up with a reclaimer trilogy.
    I’ve heard a lot of people say that chief shouldn’t be involved, but everything he wasn’t in as far as games go, we’re awful. So…why would a movie be any different. Especially given the game to movie reputation. Chief is the face of Halo. Plain an simple.

  • ardvark

    Letting Hollywood get their hands on Halo is dangerous. Microsoft and 343 are handling the IP well right now. Hollywood would distort and ruin the Halo we know and love to make some sappy love story unconnected to the Chief most likely. Any movie needs to be about the Chief. Any movie attempt should be kept on a tight leash by Microsoft and 343. Don’t let those Hollywood bums play around with Halo. Either make it right (the way fans want it) or don’t make it at all. I would rather wait a long time for the right movie than settle for a sub-par one now.