The Halo movie seemed perfect—a sci-fi alien flick with exotic locations, an iconic main character, a fanbase of millions, etc. Yet it never did see the light of day, despite years of speculation and rumors. Neill Blomkamp's version of it got canned and many design elements made it into District 9 (a good film in its own rights) instead. Rupert Sanders made a gorgeous, cinematic trailer for Halo 3: ODST, but a trailer is all it ever was.
Part of the reason the movie never got made may have been Microsoft's strict terms and demands. “We were literally setting out to be the richest, most lucrative rights deal in history in Hollywood,” the Creative Artists Agency's (CAA) Larry Shapiro told Wired's GameLife. The CAA was helping to broker Microsoft's auction of the $1 million script to studios. “You have to remember that no property, not even Harry Potter, was getting [what we were asking for]," Shapiro said.
They even had actors dress up in official Master Chief armor to deliver those scripts and wait around while Hollywood execs were reading them, a move that may have done as much harm as good, if the GameLife article is to be believed.
Another problem had to do with the differences between how Hollywood and the games industry do business. Microsoft wanted to leverage Fox and Universal against one another, but instead the two studios joined forces, and Microsoft lost that leverage.
Blomkamp's statements in the article sum it all up nicely: "When you have a corporation [Microsoft] 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. Ultimately, that’s essentially what killed the film.”
So that's what happened. Were you looking forward to one day seeing the Chief on the big screen or are you glad the movie never got made? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.