Peter Jackson Halo game scrapped

[UPDATE 2] At Comic-Con, filmmaker reveals his Microsoft collaboration "collapsed" when film project fell apart in 2006; manager Ken Kamins says final fate was sealed in January; Microsoft finally concedes game "on hold."

Last week, Microsoft announced a new anime compilation based on its popular sci-fi series Halo. Unfortunately, the weekend also brought news that one of the most anticipated cross-media projects based on the multiplatinum series will never see the light of day. Speaking with game blog Joystiq, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson said his long-awaited mystery Halo project, rumored to be called Halo Chronicles, fell apart nearly three years ago.

"That Halo project is no longer happening; it sort of collapsed when the movie didn't end up happening," said the filmmaker, apparently referring to the film's indefinite suspension in October 2006.

Though Microsoft had not commented on the project's cancellation as of press time, Jackson outlined the reasons behind the project's collapse. "Microsoft has a whole strategy with the Halo property, and when the rights expired with the two studios, that sort of ended my involvement with the project. That fell apart because of internal politics at Fox and Universal. It had nothing to do with the budget or anything else. In fact, we hadn't even been greenlit at all at that point."

[UPDATE] Speaking to the Los Angeles Times yesterday, Jackson's manager Ken Kamins said while Halo Chronicles essentially imploded in 2006, the final plug wasn't pulled until just this past January as part of Microsoft's company-wide downsizing. The still-officially-unacknowledged Halo massively multiplayer game was also an apparent casualty of the cuts--as was its rumored developer, Ensemble Studios.

"They were scaling back everything, including the number of Halo games, and it just made sense at that point," he said. "Once The Hobbit and Tintin got going, they really cannibalized Peter's time and ability to oversee any Halo games."

[UPDATE 2] On Tuesday, Microsoft belatedly acknowledged that work on the project, which it referred to as "Halo Chronicles" for the first time publicly, was at a standstill. "Microsoft Game Studios is deeply committed to supporting and strategically growing the Halo franchise, and our relationship with Peter and his team is something that we greatly value," read its statement. "Given the bandwidth of both of our companies we’ve decided to put this joint effort on hold and prioritize resources against other projects like Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo Legends."

Jackson's comments echoed those made on Friday by Neill Blomkamp, the unknown director whom Jackson tapped when he was executive-producing the Halo film. At Comic-Con promoting his forthcoming cerebral sci-fi film District 9, Blomkamp aired an appreciation of the Halo universe, which was the inspiration for several live-action shorts he made to promote Halo 3. However, he also expressed bitterness about the Halo film's unraveling, which he would forgo signing back onto, should the project ever emerge from the turnaround.

Jackson, who is executive-producing District 9, also discussed the merits of games versus movies with another expert on both subjects, director James Cameron, who showed off footage of his sci-fi epic Avatar at Comic-Con. The pair praised games as offering a more interactive option for entertainment during a period where the quality of big-budget films is declining. However, they agreed that games don't yet carry the same emotional resonance as films. "As much as I love video games, you don't cry during video games," declared Cameron.

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108 comments
green_dominator
green_dominator

@Nosnitsttam Your right, it could have been a good film especially with Peter jackson at the helm but hopefully the project isn't fully dead and it comes back possibly under someone just as talented and under a better studio. Stuff like that happens alot in Hollywood, sometimes a film goes down prematurely but then later another director breathes new life into it and it's better for it......

Matdredalia
Matdredalia

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

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

fox and universal are both morons for letting that opportunity slip through their fingers. the halo movie could have been great. i have no opinion of the games but after seeing District 9 and all of his shorts, i had no doubts that Neill Blomkamp was the best choice to direct the film.

Gammet25
Gammet25

Haven't seen Peter Jackson work on many films since The Lord of The Rings. Looking forward to his new films.

datadogg7888
datadogg7888

i think these guy needs to watch a machinima or two.... thats bs that you cant make a game into an emotional and dramatic show even more so an awesome movie.... all done by gamers and enthusiast like you and me. just to name a few "Red Vs Blue", "Leet World", "Civil Protection"... Check it out if u want, theres a whole amount of possibilities anyone can overlook.

haloboy10
haloboy10

I do agree though because nobody ever cries while playing a game but some people do when watching films

SpiKeX-Crom
SpiKeX-Crom

I very sad. I'm not a big HALO guy, but when i saw the first 8 minutes of HALO on YouTube, I immediately fell in love. I do believe that Jackson will take Spielberg's place, since Spielberg's time is at an end. Well, hopefully District 9 will hold up to the disappointment of no HALO movie. And dg3215, I'm sorry you think that. Oh, course, your only watching the wrong movies. There is some much creativity and art in movies, you just have to find the right ones. If you don't like movies, may I suggest watching "B" movies, or find a specific director that you feel shows emotion, creativity and art. May I suggest M. Night Shamylan, or JJ Abrams, The Wachowski Brothers, Peter Weir, etc. Those are the people that know what is more important than satisfying the public.

dg3215
dg3215

I don't feel any emotions when I watch a movie, they are fake for one and two it just a bunch of over paid a$$holes and drug addicts on the screen. At least a video game it is my own efforts and you develop your character. I almost cried when my dog died in Fable 2. Movies suck anymore, there is no creativity in them anymore so they use video games and old cartoons for inspiration and then annihilate them, and try to pass it off a art.

senorbusyman
senorbusyman

the only game I cried in was the Legend of Zelda:Ocarina of Time when Link gave back the ocarina back to Zelda, so they could go back in time and celebrate the defeat of Ganondorf!

futbolwarrior
futbolwarrior

Well so sad, to bad.....thanks for getting all the players pumped up for the movie. Still, they got a point. A movie is emotional but you cant interact with it. With a game you are the one to make the game emotional. Thats why I love games with multiple endings. You can have a different emotional outcome everytime.

futbolwarrior
futbolwarrior

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

starduke
starduke

Now they tell us...three years later! Also, Ca-moron doesn't know what he's talking about. While I don't exactly cry when I play video games, there are a few games that have very emotional moments. I agree with the people who mentioned KOTOR. That game was so great because of the emotions it evoked. Wheather it's going totally Sith and giving into your anger and killing anyone who crossed you, or going Lightside and trying to help everyone and save the galaxy, only to have the love of your characters life turn dark (at least if you played as a dude)... and finding out what really happened to Darth Reven.Yes, that game could evoke emotions.

Gabe447
Gabe447

Crisis core,Mgs4,Star wars force unleashed all with emotional moments and ends

fredwv
fredwv

come on... everybody cried when Sepiroth killed Aeris in FF7. :p

lexluis
lexluis

I cried the end of MGS4, that was an incredible ending (there were many sad parts thought)

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

It's probably better off if Microsoft makes an entirely CG movie since a live action one probably wouldn't look right. A guy in a armored Mark IV suit would move rather clunky and not as fluidly as it is portrayed in CGI. Use the same studio that did the CG cutscenes for Halo Wars which was very high quality for a game.

Megamanx266
Megamanx266

They weren't commenting on the "lack" of emotional experiences with video games... They're commenting on the fact those emotional experiences aren't quite as powerful compared movies. I mean, are you gonna cry when a pixelated character that looks awsome gets randomly shot in the head by the bad guy and dies? Or are you gonna cry when the same thing happens with more "realist" people in a movie. (Note there's obviously gonna be a sappy see right after)

blackfray
blackfray

lol someone is got to be angry...:)

johnnyBgood99
johnnyBgood99

All these "strong emotional" game examples eveyone is giving are great, but they're great as far as video games go. Comparitively to movies, they are all inferior on the emotional level in which they can grip you. Gran Torino is great example of a new release. Not so long ago Crash just about destroyed me for an evening because it is was so intense. I do not believe there is a single game that can match either one of those movies, plus the countless others that are slipping my mind right now.

Clever_NYC
Clever_NYC

No Emotional Content? Final Fantasy 7, MGS series, Bioshock "good ending", Gears of War 2 (when Dom finds his wife), just to name a few. IMO were emotional games or moments

Wolfie600
Wolfie600

I often find MORE emotion on some videogames then some movies...

doktron
doktron

Of course when u play bland games like the SIMS your not going to emote anything!But dont build a bathroom and your poor sims character will have an emotional breakdown!

DexCasas
DexCasas

Baldur's gate 2, mass effect, kotor... Bioware games have a strong emotional componment.

doktron
doktron

No emotion in games?FEAR inspired more terror than any movie since Alien.I almost broke down at the cliffhanger ending of Halflife2 EP2 when Alyx dad was killed.(wheres EP3?)I cheered after rushing the Reichstag and tearing down the nazi flag in call of duty 1. The D-Day landing in Medal of Honor1...what a rush! In games u are actually there interacting with the other characters but in movies your just an observer.Besides,I dont cry at movies anyways.

Minsk_bg
Minsk_bg

In general, I would agree with Cameron that games usually don't move as deeply as films but I've played and I think there really are games with such stories that can have a strong emotional impact on the player and can even lead to watery eyes or some crying but such games are quite rare and you have to search for them and sift through a mass of titles whose emphasis is for only addictive gameplay and even that is quite often implemented poorly.

mannyunited
mannyunited

Yes computer games dont make me but neither do films i havent cried at a film since i was a kid when E.T went home ha

xchiefmegadethx
xchiefmegadethx

No one crys playing video games...Thats so wrong I cryed when Dom finds he's wife... We love u James,but ur so wrong

cptpeg
cptpeg

@Hard_Target That's the exact scene I was thinking of when I read the final paragraph. I felt really choked up watching it, and although it was a really bad thing that happened I thought Epic did a great job at building up to it.

cube-gage
cube-gage

yeah if you ask me Halo has had its day. I just dont think that series has enough staying power story wise. For now atleast. Maybe when the next xbox is released a new halo would be cool. Aww who am i kidding, you can bet your ass we will see a new halo on the 360 in the next 2 years. To much money at stake. And games do make you cry sometimes. Shenmue 1 and 2 brought a tear to my eye a little because of the overwhelming experience and a soundtrack so epic. Peter jackson sucks anyway, I never like the lord of the rings movies, and king kong was boring and long and full of same old CGI.

Hard_Target
Hard_Target

I cried in Gears 2. When Dom found his wife. Eff you fat man!

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

With Cameron making a statement like "you don't cry in video games" pretty much lets me know he doesn't play video games... Ff7?, Ff7; crisis core? Final fantasy x? Kingdom Hearts 2?......I mean these games aren't like WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH crying, but I know people who've gotten teared up just like me... and a friend of mine balled his head off when he thought Bungie had killed of Master chief in Halo 3... I saw it... 17 year old with his eyes all red... kept on saying "That sucks!, Thats sucks!"... I was just in awe... but HEY CAMERON! WHEN its done RIGHT! Gamers feel the tears man! so get off your high horse there buddy and admit you have no idea what the evolution of entertainment is.... Movies originated as live plays, then as silent movies, then sound, then color, and now its progressed so far ahead the medium of Film, and games are going to merge.... and right now both industries haven't found the perfect balance... but its coming! MARK MY WORDS ITS COMING!!!!

DemannameD
DemannameD

I'm glad as a fan that they only officially state this 3 years later...

method115
method115

@hellswrath99 Yea agreed. Not sure that I've ever cried thought but if a movie can do it, it actually would seem easier on a game since I'm more involved. Maybe Mass Effect 2 Will do it for me lol, I need to replay that actually.

brain20035
brain20035

If Cameron had played Crisis Core: Final Fantasy IIV and had beaten the game, he would've never made the same remark about games.

SparkyProtocol
SparkyProtocol

"As much as I love video games, you don't cry during video games," declared Cameron. Whats the difference? If anything it is sadder for a character to die in a game since you get to know them better on a personal level

Hellswrath99
Hellswrath99

I'd have to agree with some of the other comments. Someone declaring that games don't carry emotional resonance isn't playing the right games for that. There are some truly great games that pull this off, but usually fall under the RPG category.

lightwarrior179
lightwarrior179

While many might be looking forward to Peter Jackson's Halo, I think some of them might be slightly relieved at that. Although the latter might be outnumbered..I think.

jer_1
jer_1

Can't say I'm too bummed about this, I'd rather play a full on district 9 game at this point. Something new and fresh instead of beat like a dead horse is always a good thing IMO.

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

oh, i was looking forward to it :(

LegionXVIII
LegionXVIII

I'm surprised no one has mentioned bioshock. Its not really a crying game, but I definitely felt an emotional connection with the characters that I have only felt in the true epic movies. Also agreed, Mass Effect, and Kotor.

beekayjay
beekayjay

Good. Halo was undeserving of a movie. The only downside to this news is not having the movie going public see for themselves the kind of complete garbage the average video game fanboy regards as good storytelling.

Un4givingAsault
Un4givingAsault

Common Pete Jackson, I want the epicness of LOTR to come to a halo film.

Spartan-1657
Spartan-1657

I have to throw out there that I have played all Final Fantasies and MGS series as well, and never once felt like crying. But same goes for movies. It's not real so I don't take it seriously. I really dunno why people take things in too much but do what you gotta do I guess.

supersaiyinx
supersaiyinx

I cried when I beat Lunar, it is a great game, good ending.

akiwak
akiwak

I cried in Final Fantasy 7, when she died.... I cried again at the thought of having Solid Snake die in MGS4.....