In 2008, a major motion picture based on Halo hits screens with the backing of producer Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong) and his WETA special effects studio. Most of the details of the project are being kept under lock and key, but occasionally the creative forces working on the movie will leak some information.
Late last week, Ain't it Cool News posted an interview with Peter Jackson regarding the film Halo, and the movie mogul dished about choosing an unknown to direct the ambitious project, what vehicles would be included in the flick, and the importance of the film's script.
Many fans were puzzled when the movie's director was announced as South African short-film director Neill Blomkamp, but Jackson defends the choice, saying potential candidates should have certain qualities. First and foremost, the director had to want to direct it "really badly. They had to be absolute Halo fans." Second, the director had to bring a unique vision to the film, another quality that Blomkamp nailed directly on the head.
"It's not Ridley Scott, it's not James Cameron, it's not what we've seen before, but it's something new and fresh and it's cool," Jackson said in the interview. "Someone who was going to not go the clichéd way, but go in the direction that they had an original vision for and Neill has got that in spades. We're feeling really, really good."
Though 28 Days Later scribe Alex Garland got a lot of attention when he was paid $1 million to pen the film's script, Jackson says the screenplay is on its second draft since coming over from Garland. The producer stresses that the script is still being worked on but assures Halo fans that they're not rushing it out the door, either.
"The movie, as far as I'm concerned, as far as my involvement is concerned, is not going to go in front of the cameras until we have a really great script," said Jackson.
That doesn't mean Blomkamp can't get started on some designs--and Jackson wasn't shy about revealing what would be involved in the movie. Though specific actions and dialogue are still being hammered out in word processors, Jackson says Blomkamp is already busy visualizing the film versions of various well-known Halo vehicles, such as Ghosts, Warthogs, Scorpions, and the Pillar of Autumn.
Jackson also gives good news for younger fans who fear the movie's rating will be too harsh and for older fans who think the film's rating will be too family-friendly.
"Look, the reality of the budget is that I would imagine the studio is going to be pretty insistent on a PG-13 [rating], which...is certainly not an impossible thing pull off," Jackson says. However, fans looking for a little more gore may also be in luck.
"The concept of a hard R rating for DVD is kind of fun because that does ultimately deliver a film that the hardcore fans would enjoy and that's certainly something we should discuss." Jackson adds, "I think as long as the studio gets a PG-13 to release theatrically, I'd imagine they'd actually be supportive and certainly we can talk to them about supporting the idea of (a harder cut for DVD). I think Neill would be into it."