How Halo film's failure inspired District 9 director's career

Director Neill Blomkamp says had the Halo film been made, he would not have learned to trust his ideas.

The cancellation of the Halo motion picture turned out to be one of the luckiest moments in District 9 director Neill Blomkamp's professional career, he said in a new interview with The Los Angeles Times.

Blomkamp was hired by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and partner Fran Walsh to make the Halo movie. When it fell apart in 2006, the pair agreed to produce and help find funding for District 9, the Oscar-nominated movie that would help bring Blomkamp to prominence.

"The luck is the fact that Peter and Fran let me make [District 9] out of the ruins that were Halo," Blomkamp said. "What happened out of that was learning to trust my ideas. If Halo had come out and succeeded or failed, I wouldn't have learned that."

Blomkamp was recently quoted saying he is still interested in directing a Halo film, but only if he was given creative control.

"But that's the problem," he said in April. "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."

Blomkamp's latest film, Elysium, releases in theaters this Friday starring Matt Damon an Jodie Foster.

Though a Halo movie may not be on the immediate horizon, an all-new Halo TV series produced by Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List director Steven Spielberg is on the way.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

114 comments
ShadowsDemon
ShadowsDemon

D9 is one of my favourite films of all time. Although I still want a Halo film, D9 was good enough for me. NB did an awesome job and took a massive risk. Kudos to him.

jark888
jark888

I like District 9, a well done movie, especially on the realistic aspect.

salvucci91
salvucci91

I would rather watch the Landfall trailers a thousand times over than Forward Unto Dawn.

Hurvl
Hurvl

What a wonderful story! A failure that leads onwards to success and personal growth. Man, that's just the kind of movies I avoid (too much sugared happy ending), but I really like District 9 and Neil Blomkamp. Elysium sounds very interesting as well.

zintarr
zintarr

Screw Elysium. Its stars asshole Matt Daemon who preaches that video games are the cause of violent shootings. Do not give that fucker your money.

xtremeflem2day
xtremeflem2day

Peter Jackson doesn't come close to Nolan or Spielberg, but the last two LOTR movies, King Kong, and district 9 are worth having on my shelf.

Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

Elysium looks pretty good. Can't wait to see it. Couldn't get into District 9. Looking forward to the Halo series. Hope a movie will follow. 

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

this guy gives a new feel to sci fi. bitch all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that Blomkamp is going places.

ziproy
ziproy

District 9 was garbage and Elysium looks almost exactly like it except it replaced starving, poor aliens with starving, poor people and instead of a giant space ship it's a space station they're trying to get to.

Since he's made his bones by making garbage Sci-Fi Halo would be a perfect fit for him

angryguy77
angryguy77

I simply stated my opinion and the goon squad came out in force. All you movie and anmie tools are the same. If someone doesn't like, or they dislike a movie you happen to like or not, you get snarky like you were in your initial reply.I attacked because I was attacked.

Daywalker2K4
Daywalker2K4

"Director Neill Blomkamp says had the Halo film been made, he would not have learned to trust his ideas."

His ideas?  Aliens in Africa(District 9) and a cybernetic human that goes to a ring world(Elysium).  Yeah, HIS ideas...  

broly180
broly180

R.I.P. HALO MOVIES MICROSOFT STILL SUCK.......

Pilgrim117
Pilgrim117

Wow, a lot of you guys really suck when you decide who should direct a Halo movie. Nolan, WTF? Nolan would never direct something like Halo, he's into profound and thoughful movies, not a SCI-FI blockbuster/lame main character/humans vs aliens.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Damn you! Now I want to watch some prawns fighting over cat food again!

DARKSPACE
DARKSPACE

Watching District 9 I totally got what that movie did and thought it was very well done. As for Halo. The fire is not what is once was. Particularly the story could of gone anywhere and possibly been a total mess to it's fanbase. Halo Games vs Halo Books = Movie Magic Madness.

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

Let's agree that it's the best to keep Blomkamp from the Halo franchise and Halo from Blomkamp. He doesn't make those types of movies.


If you want a proper Halo movie I suggest Christopher Nolan. End of story.

Hellhound30x
Hellhound30x

*GAAAAAASP!* You don't say? Thanks for pointing out the obvious with this article Gamespot.

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

After Elysium, he needs to direct the Mass Effect movie. The concept arts for Elysium look so much like the Mass Effect concept arts.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

District 9 was amazing.....most game adaptations don't end up being absolutely amazing like that.....the good ones like MK or Silent Hill end up as really cool movies that offer up a slice of the game in film format but they usually sit on their own shelf far away from the game's universe as not to contaminate things all the while some of us get too far into things and flame them for whatever reason....

for me the good game adaptations are MK, Silent Hill, Doom, the original Resident Evil movie and the original Tomb Raider movie but in all cases were far from ideal of perfect and had issues that sort of ruined aspects or rewrote aspects to be unique.....

We won't even get into the bad ones......

TBH I saw Forward Unto Dawn and IDK, it was okay but kinda slow, as soon as stuff started happening it was over.....I'm not sure I want a Halo movie just because it'll probably be the same way....interesting but slow and not enough action.....

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

@zintarr  

holy crap. grow up, dude. if you're gonna shape all of your interests based on your approval of other people's lives and opinions, you're not gonna be doing much in life.

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

@xtremeflem2day That is a tough choice... I think Lord of the Rings and King Kong out does anything Spielberg or Nolan have done, however some of Peter Jackson's earlier movies weren't so good... but Nolan also made The Dark Knight Rises which was pretty mediocre so it is hard to say. They are all good directors. The problem I have with Spielberg is that he lacks depth in his films. Most of his films are shallow.

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

@Daywalker2K4 My ignorance meter is going off the chart... wow.

You do realize there is a lot to being a director? It was his idea to have that story, so it was his idea. And a stanford torus has been used in many movies... to the scale of Elysium that is.

jecomans
jecomans

@Pilgrim117 So I nominate either Zac Snyder or Tarsem Singh. Or maybe J J Abrams could direct HALO: The Next Generation?

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

@Pilgrim117 And The Dark Knight Rises was profound... when? The Dark Knight Rises wasn't profound or thoughtful. Heck, Inception was thoughtful but it wasn't profound. 

winshot
winshot

@Trickymaster Dude you effing serious... Chis Nolan is the worst director in hollywood... He will just ruin the movie like the crapfest  that was Dark Knight Trilogy....Whoever likes Chris Nolan are sheer dumb-F**CKS...

Dandyslayer13
Dandyslayer13

@Trickymaster NO. Seeing District 9 and seeing the trailers of Elysium are proof enough that he can easily do a Halo movie. Plus he did the Landfall short film for them he's the natural pick for this movie all he has to do is stick to the source materiel and we've got a winner. 

If Microsoft was ballsy enough they'd allow him to cover another Spartan or Spartan team with a John-117 cameo or reference at the most within it. It would allow him more freedom and allow him to stick to the source materiel with out feeling constrained to much. John-117 needs to stay the face of the games whilst other Spartans should come to light at least in other media like the books have done.

Christopher Nolan would just shit on the series. No aliens would be in it because its unrealistic and it would be highly depressing and bland.

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

@the_real_VIP Ummm no?Don't you see the essential difference between his movies and games like Halo and Mass Effect. It's not that polished, shiny Sci Fi that you want. His world's are rough, realistic and dystopian and full of symbolism. There are no heroes that shoot through thousands of enemies without giving at thought. There is no sci fi technology that doesn't make sense. That's why I love Blomkamp's type of sci fi. It's hard sci fi. Mass Effect and Halo are more like Space Western.

ronnet
ronnet

@the_real_VIP If he gets creative control and creates a better ending then I'm all for it.

BrutalPandaX2
BrutalPandaX2

@MJ12-Conspiracy sorry, but it was amazing to you an a few others. What it really is, is an annoying brat getting tortured for two hours to show that the bully becomes the bullied. amazing huh?

Sp8cemanSpiff
Sp8cemanSpiff

@Dandyslayer13 @Trickymaster Seeing District 9 and seeing the trailers for Elysium are also proof enough that he should stick to his guns and direct original movies. I don't want a movie starring a dude with a helmet and zero personality who fights dopey aliens with squeaky voices. The guy's got smarts, so why waste 'em on franchises when he could be doing more original stuff instead. Most game franchises ripped off their stories from movies or books at some point anyway.

0m39AX
0m39AX

@Trickymaster @the_real_VIP I disagree about Mass Effect. The richness not only of characters(specially in ME2), but the world itself(which is not only ONE world, but different solar systems and cultures) is so varied but yet in many ways plausible. It is complex and rich in terms of physics, philosophy, antropology, sociology and psichology. Consider, for example, the explanation concerning FTL drivers and the 'mass effect' itself. It's theoretical physics. Or do you want some philosophical questions raised? Take, for example, the problem of consciousness and individuality concerning the way the Geth think. Or the evolutionary and psichological aspects of the relation between individuals from some races and their respective environments. ME is deep, complex and consistent. Much more than just a "Space Western". 

PandaTrueno86
PandaTrueno86

@BrutalPandaX2 @MJ12-Conspiracy If you don't like District 9, that's fine. But it still was a succesful film either way.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

@BrutalPandaX2 You just hate the director.....the guy isn't a hack, wanna see a hack? look at EA and Activision, those fucks are hacks.....

District 9 is better than what's on the surface, all good Sci-Fi is a mirror of our own world and our own conflicts and hatreds, Take Star Wars, it's not simply about good triumphing over evil, it's an adventure it's every fantasy story told in Sci-Fi form and religion represented in the simplest form and is also a mirror of WWII....

I'd say District 9 is about the treatment of illegal aliens in the most literal terms, it's the mistreatment of those who are different than you and the intolerance in the world, you can't take everything at face value....

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

@zintarr 

and you're the sort of idiot that thinks extra bitching about someone else's personal opinions is a better alternative. fuck you.

grow up, and stop crying whenever someone has a different opinion.

MysteryJ0ker
MysteryJ0ker

@zintarr 

You should probably not support any company, just to be on the safe side that one of those developers may or may not have a differing opinion from you.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@jecomans @Rickystickyman My favorite among his early movies is Bad Taste.

0m39AX
0m39AX

@MJ12-Conspiracy @BrutalPandaX2 All good sci-fi have this deep relation to an ontological and epistemic mistery. It always drives us to the boundaries of what we think and know, and think that we know. 

0m39AX
0m39AX

@MJ12-Conspiracy @BrutalPandaX2 But I'd not say that 'all Sci-Fi' are merely a mirror of our own world. I agree, but in terms. I think is limited to think about Sci-Fi this way. Sci-Fi is of course this, but it goes much beyond. Good Sci-Fi stories are more related to a another possible world(it could be our own world, another planets, dimensions, places, ways of thinking). Sci-Fi is close to science in regards to think and explore the limits of what we can think of. A good sci-fi has always this "What if... ?" spirit to it. 

 Take 2001: Space Odissey, for example. What if... we find a strange monolith that we have no idea what it is on the moon? Or The Day Earth Stood Still: what if an alien comes to Earth to speak to our leaders about the way we use atomic power, in the middle of the Cold War? Or Fahrenhei 51: What if we live in a totalitarian government and we are prohibited to read books, what would happen to the average worker?