Jackson talks <i>Halo</i>

Producer of film based on Bungie's game chats about script rewrites, hiring a feature-film director noob, and what to expect in the film.

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."

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

556 comments
division_9
division_9

If its got Peter Jackson, i'm watching it.

Lebbin
Lebbin

yeah. i hope the movie is PG-13. not only will there not be alot of bad stuff in it, but all my friends will be able to see it.

jarjar1888
jarjar1888

Why would whoever is producing this movie try to take a game rated Mature which is intended for a 17+ audience, and try to make it a more family friendly PG-13 movie. A PG-13 rating would strip the movies ability to capture the true essence of Halo (and Master Chief's rath). I hope somebody decides this is a bad idea. (Sidenote: If kids are allowed to play a Mature rated game, why would they be denied the ability to watch an R rated movie).

losaltos6
losaltos6

Guy's lets set up a patition and promise the filmmakers that we are willing to watch it if they make it a good outstanding movie like LOTR and movies like that. Maybe if we give them that it will give them a greater insentive to make a great 3 hour movie

Gingtin
Gingtin

"fans looking for a little more gore blah blah....." WHAT?! in a possible pg-13......dont think so, that would be like a blade of grass gettin stomped on by the master chief. come on!!!! But then again 28 days later was such a cool movie, i hope they have the same luck with this.

manuts
manuts

so halo 3 halo wars and halo the movie. could you ask for more?

boxcarracer565
boxcarracer565

halo 3 and halo wars are gunna propel the 360 to most popular system of the next generation, NOT MARIO FOR THE WII, NOT FINALFANTASY,OR METAL GEAR SOLID FOR PS3. HALO 3 AND HALO WARS FOR 360.

kurtyjobbo
kurtyjobbo

I thought doom was a pretty good film, and i cant wait to see hunters in the halo movie!!! With peter jackson doing it, i think its gonna kick ass!

BMAN0201
BMAN0201

"The movie's gonna suck" blah blah bleargh. Why don't we all wait for the movie to come out BEFORE we start bashing it? I swear to god, people just put stuff down 'cause they're bored. Or is this done just to tick others off? Well congrats, you got my attention. 100 Gamerpoints for you.... and right now I'm looking at braintreema in specific.

Pulpos
Pulpos

i am a big fan of Halo and i wil love to see a Halo Movie.The Game Based Movies like Doom or House of the dead are not seccsesfull and our only hope are the Hitman and Halo movies.I Waiting until 2008

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

Cmon this is old news reheated and served as though its new;(

guy8
guy8

cannot wait

braintreema
braintreema

No doubt PJ is a skilled director blah blah blah...lets recall how many bad movies are made of videogames. He chose a first time director because he is givng someone a lucky break which makes him appear generous and for when the movie sucks the blame is on the noob. If anything it will be a cheesy film that will not take itself seriously enough. It's going to be a big "look what I can do" on the screen similar to LOTR but not as good. And that nonsense about an R rated dvd..... seriously do not get your hopes up. I read PJ himself talk about an R rated cut of LOTR on the oficial website and the best we got was a pg13 extended. Which was cool too but not R rated. Halo the film will probably be such a success that there will be no need for an r rated cut...maybe an extended pg13 version?

raydnex
raydnex

I think it may be a good and bad idea since its a good game but da thing is we'll see it soon

Martyr
Martyr

as long as the CGI kicks ass thats all that matters:)

arczero01
arczero01

guys, seriously, don't worry about the PG-13 rating. ever seen LotR? ever seen King Kong? PJ can get away with anything. murder even. \ yeah thats about right i've seen them all king kong was pretty crazy in some spots so was lotr

helluvagood
helluvagood

"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." very interesting, i would go see it, if it was rated R, that would be typical halo, and typical master chief doing his job ^_^

thered0390
thered0390

Sounds great. I've been wondering if they were even going to make a movie or if it was just a rumor. Good to hear about this. I still think some stunt double should play Chief while the game actor does the voice. Kinda like Darth Vader.

VolcanoMan001
VolcanoMan001

An actor? The entire thing will probably be CG and they will probably use the game's voice actor. But even still, it is not like you will need to Master Chief's face because he will always be in his suit. As for the story, I think they should go for the first Halo novel... pre-Halo 1. Hmm, then I guess you would have to see MC's face. Damn!

Icepick2137
Icepick2137

Shipwreck X makes a good point, since we never see Master Chiefs face then they should make him the actor to play the part, it would kind of break the spell theyv'e created if I play Halo and then watch the movie and we got two different voices here. Also anybody seen Full Metal Jacket? I want blood and gore like FMJ had, whenever someone got shot in that movie it just looked Beautiful! *Cough* I mean horrific, it was terrible...yes...

megaman_legends
megaman_legends

alright look stop looking at the ps3 as a computer cause when you think about it all systems is a computer especially when you try to talk good about 360.just look at the bright side like the games thats comming out for ps3 like devil may cry 4 or metal gear solid and hell GOD OF WAR 3 those are some really good games to already make you get a ps3 so dont look at what features its going to have look at it for the games witch that it was all about in the first place.for people who dont like playstation any more because of the price my opinion yall wrong man because before the whole XBOX thing came out every one was on playstation now all of the suddon you switch to a new system and dog the hell out of something you have probley been playing for 12 years.to me thats called treason ya know!. but besides all that i dont think halo would work out in the film part jus as a game.peter jackson just needs to continue making hell boy 2 insted of chancing something that will most possibly just be a dud.

JoetheMoe
JoetheMoe

How can they even think of making this an PG-13 movie? Yeah sure they want more people to come and spend money to watch but, Halo is about a War between Humans and Aliens! And there is nothing good in war. I want to hear them screaming bloody murder and droppin a dozen F-bombs!

bobbysbits
bobbysbits

guys, seriously, don't worry about the PG-13 rating. ever seen LotR? ever seen King Kong? PJ can get away with anything. murder even.

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

same here jorge. but i doubt that would happen. they would want the theatricla one to be mind blowing and they wouldn't cut stuff out because it was to mature so i expect them to make the movie based on pg-13:(

stinger503
stinger503

I think that they should plan to make two movies (sort of like Lord Of The Rings), because they're obviously going to make a sequel just because Halos huge fanbase is probably going to watch it and because they're is so much stuff they're going to miss or they're going to have to put stuff in (i.e. dialoge) to push the story forward. It should be from the taking the kids into the program, to the End of the Fall of Reach, just as they're taking off to Halo. The do the games as a sequel. This will make it more publically accepted because movies based on books are generally good (Jurassic Park) and gamers will be more enticed to see the movie because it isn't stuff they've actually played. Another option would be to do Halo 1/2 and have the chief get flashbacks of his childhood, spartan project and battles against the covenant.

Jorge1441
Jorge1441

I think the PG-13 rating is a good thing for the younger crowd, but just as long as we get the R rating for the DVD.

cosmic360
cosmic360

I loved the halo games. I can only hope that they do the game justice

IamtheKreator
IamtheKreator

something tells me PJ dosent really want any involvement with this movie and hes just getting paid well. I cant wait til the hobbit.

jackctu
jackctu

This will be either: Real Good = Because Jackson is doing it. Real Crap = Because I want to play as Master Chief not watch him!

X-Robert
X-Robert

The movie wiil be rated R unless they delete the scences with the flood.But Jackson may make flood wtth PG-13,we can see it from King Kong.

ShipwreckX
ShipwreckX

Yes Samuel L. Jackson would be a good pick for sarg. And I can see Jude Law as spark. But you never really see Master Cheif`s face so will it be voiced by the same person?

Aeoxins
Aeoxins

reply to speeddemon, When has Halo had gore? Gore is defined as the mutilation of limbs and other bodys parts. This is simple blood splatter, which is in most FPS today. And about Sgt. Johnson using naughty words frequently, It wouldn't be rated PG-13. So, while you go think of an idea on how to make a little movie with a bunch of four letter words, call it a rated version, and get it to sell to tame little 8 year olds that pwn you via Xbox Live, I'll watch the one that is being produced now.

EPaul
EPaul

It will suck like all game movies are destined to be

speeddemon_14
speeddemon_14

My only comment is on the rating thing, and what I have to say is this: they should do what almost every other movie that made PG-13 for the theaters should do: when it comes out on DVD, do an unrated version. That way, the 8 year olds that are schooling the rest of us on XBL can have their tame little version of it, and the rest of us can see some decent gore. It kinda pains me to say it like that, but that's what it comes down to. To put it in perspective, an unrated Lord of the Rings would have made my day. Why? Because anyone that's ever killed anything before knows that there is a LOT of blood when you hack limbs off of something. (Anyone here ever butchered an animal before?) That realistic kind of blood would have made LOTR so much better, so I hope they make a gory, unrated version of Halo. And I really hope they don't go all "South Park" with the script. The last thing I want is to hear Sgt. Johnson screaming the f-word at everybody. THAT would piss me off. A lot.

quietguy
quietguy

Anyways. Let me "rant" off my own analysis of the Halo movie. Story: Here's something that could blow the brains of many out: "Rumor has it Alex Garland's script will not be used and D.B. Weiss is working on a story draft" - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0464037/ AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! LoLz!!! If there's one thing the movie will suffer from, it's production time as because the script must adhere to the "Halo bible" and that is pretty difficult to make. My suggestion is to move the storyline away from Halo and focus on the events beforehand (eg. The Fall of Reach, the Covenant Invasion, etc.) Ratings: It's pretty much very debatable that we all want a rated R Halo. My response is GO AND DO SOME RESEARCH. Pretty much from the point onward since what?... let's say... um... you know what, let's just used Jet Li's Fearless as an example. If you look carefully at the contents of each PG-13 movies that came out in succession each year, you'd notice that violence and some gore gradually filtered into a new PG-13 movie. How is this significant? Let me just put it that "society has come to slowly accept violence in our culture"; concluding that a PG-13 is becoming more like a R-rated movie (just barely). So basically, anyone 13 and under just got a shortcut to watch SOME violent movies. Popularity: I can say this whole damn site is incredibly biased. Why? How many members do we have in here are atleast a fanboy of something, AND the proportions of Gamespot members vs. the people out there in the real world whom: a. Don't know gamespot.com b. Are casual gamerz. c. People who actually do something else than sit on their butts and type a comment like this for everybody to see. & d. People from other places that never even seen a game console. My conclusions? (299,803,270 US citizens + 375 million European residents) vs. the 50k Gamespot users on this site... I'd say we'd be'd pretty screwed. (Oh and don't forget the Chinese and Japanese populace too!) Other Stuff: HOPED TO GOD THERE IS NO SEX IN THIS GAME! The only sex would come from Cortana's avatar figure and she's not even nude, just purple and blue skin digital texture. -EVEN IF PJ SCREWS IT UP, HE'S NOT SCREWED. Face it, there's a reason why he chose the producer position. -Neill Blomkamp? Oh yeah, the years of Boll and (whatever the director of MK is) is getting repetitive. Hollywood needs freshmeat if it's going to take another dive into the videogame world again. -A good chunk of the visuals will be in CGA. -I do not agree with Hugh Jackman playing as Master Chief. Jude Law voicing 343 Guilty Spark? That I can imagine with relative ease. I'm thinking of Samuel L. Jackson as Sarge; Who's with me on that!? But an actor for MC? I'd say do like what they did in Superman Returns. Pull an unknown.

quietguy
quietguy

Dinnenicus On the topic of man who wrote the script, Alex Garland, who also wrote the script for 28 Days Later, my personal opinion is that it was a poor decision. I that script should be looked over by many script writers of higher quality. I would like Eric Nylund, author of the book Halo: The Fall of Reach, to give his input on the script, if he hasn't had the chance already. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- But Nylund doesn't have screen writer's license does he?

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

Excellent. I really cannot wait for this movie, it will be my most looked forward to movie event of 2008, that's definite. With all these pros getting involved with the film, like Jackson and WETA, and Martin O'Donnell doing the musical scores, there's so little room for this film to go totally wrong.

Dreski83
Dreski83

Concerns: Alex Garland - Not saying I'd want to take this job, no matter how much money they throw yer way... its like taking on the helms to crashing plane. His plot for 28 Days wasn't the worst, yet it didn't have enough meat in certain places to fill certain voids that left me hanging by the end. Story - If not overly terrified for the guy who has to come up with a story better than Halo2, which sucked, what else besides the comic and books can they possibly offer in terms as a believable Halo universe. Its no problem to me if they just wanna wing it, but whatever approach they make its got to be spot on! Peter Jackson - No dis to LotR in anyway, but it left me hanging just like 28 Days. It hit its marks no doubt based on the books and such, but in all respects maybe Jackson enjoys basking a lil too much in the cheesy. He's not at the main chair calling every shot but he is over seeing the project which could be a good/bad thing... Neill Blomkamp - This dude has skills! Yea, never did a big budget movie but for any who has seen his work on CGtalk or youtube.com, just know he has a better chance than any big wig in my opinion to make a lucky hit on his 1st try at the big leagues. One thing that bothers me tho is just how much Jackson will lean on this guy... I mean, if he's making obvious rookie mistakes or cracks under big studio pressure, I got no beef with PJ steppin in when needed... yet... I want Blomkamps vision of Halo, not Jackson's Visuals - This is a given, the studio is gonna settle on the PG-13 bs simply cause thats a money fountain waiting to be tapped. I prefer rated R all the way, even in Marvel movies and Star Wars, but to limit all those parents and their kids (who all assume Halo being a videogame IS for kids) the suits are not gonna think twice about the rating... I can sense it in the force... Besides, this will be a serious test of the director who must convey massive amounts of vicious alien combat and violence and make it suitable for the rating peeps... can Blomkamp pull it off?!

thingta42
thingta42

Well think of it this way LOTR was a 12+ and it was great for a 12+ it had blood action!

Permutation
Permutation

I hope Jackson doesn't fudge this up. We need that LOTR quality back on the big screen. I think Hugh Jackman would be suitable for the role of Master Chief. Jessica Biel or Scarlett Joahansson for the role of Cortana. Maybe Jude Law could voice 343 Guilty Spark (The Monitor). It would be nice if both Halo 3 and the film reveal more information about the race known as The Forerunner, as well.

Permutation
Permutation

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dragonlou
dragonlou

cant wait for the trailer in a world where no aliens rest or sleep but only one thing comes in and blast their a##es...HALO YEAH SUMthing like that

bdhood
bdhood

anyone else out there think that kiefer sutherland would have made the sickest master chief ever?

spartan_893
spartan_893

YES!!!!!!!!! sound like its gonna be good, can't wait

Gigas_Yuu
Gigas_Yuu

Why did they change A. Garland's script? =(

SicsStringFreak
SicsStringFreak

seeing how halo3 launches 6 months to a year earlier than the movie, it would be hard to make a bundle pack wasup109, but n 2009 i could see this happening :)