Peter Jackson studio developing 'original' game

[UPDATE] <i>Lord of the Rings</i> director's manager says Wingnut Interactive is working on an all-new IP; Microsoft belatedly admits Halo Chronicles "on hold."

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Amongst a flurry of other news, last week's Comic-Con revealed the fate of Halo Chronicles, the mystery-shrouded interactive entertainment project from filmmaker Peter Jackson. After being revealed with great fanfare at the X06 Conference, the reportedly episodic game-movie hybrid disappeared from public view.

Jackson (l.) and Del Toro.

Though Jackson said Halo Chronicles "collapsed" when the Halo film entered development limbo nearly three years ago, its ultimate fate was apparently sealed more recently. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times yesterday, Jackson's manager Ken Kamins said the final plug wasn't pulled until just this past January as part of Microsoft's companywide downsizing. The still-officially-unacknowledged Halo massively multiplayer game was also an apparent casualty of the cuts--as was its rumored developer, Ensemble Studios.

[UPDATE] 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."

Luckily, Kamins had some good news--namely, that Jackson hasn't abandoned game development. In fact, Wingnut Interactive, the game-centric offshoot of his Wingnut Films production company, is actively crafting some new, unannounced IP.

"It was born out of this [Halo deal], but now Peter has people in Wingnut Interactive working on original intellectual property," Kamins told the Times.

The nature of the new Wingnut game entails anyone's guess. Jackson's next directorial project, The Lovely Bones (due 2010) is an unlikely suspect. Based on the Alice Sebold novel of the same name, it is a downbeat supernatural drama about the teenage victim of a serial rapist-murderer who follows her family and killer's fates from heaven.

Though the reference to "original" likely precludes any licensed IPs, Jackson is also executive-producing the two-part film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit, directed by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy II, Pan's Labyrinth). Currently, Warner Bros., which is distributing both films domestically, holds the rights to make games based on the Lord of the Rings films. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment reps had not confirmed the publisher will be making a Hobbit game as of press time. The last game based on the book was Sierra and Inevitable Entertainment's poorly received 2003 multiplatform adventure title.

Jackson is also executive-producing the computer-generated film based on the classic Tintin comics. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo last month, Ubisoft announced it was developing games based on the project.

Discussion

67 comments
RonTorque
RonTorque

Can't wait for the lovely bones.

joeborg14
joeborg14

I'm sure he does a lot in design and directing the progress of the game, though not much in the way of engineering. He also loves to write screenplay, so he could be designing the story as well. I'm wondering how original this "original" IP is going to be. You know what I'd really like to see? PJ and Bethesda get together and do an LOTR RPG as expansive as, say, the ES series. Wouldn't that be amazing? Spending hundreds of hours exploring the Mines of Moria, riding the plains of Edoras, or even seeing the dwarves in the Lonely Mountain years after Bilbo left? But, this is quite unrealistic, especially since Bethesda wasn't even mentioned in the article. I'm just dreaming.

Intrakitt
Intrakitt

What does Peter Jackson actually do in the development of a videogame? Does he have anything to do with the entire development process or is his name just going to appear on the box? I don't get it?!

zeniftan
zeniftan

@BenBenBen93: I Originaly thought you were talking about his reputation as a director lol. I was going to say: "After watching lord of the ring's you think THIS guy has lost his reputation as a director! He'll NEVER lose his reputation, they were just too well done for that to happen." But I must admit, I did have to take a second glance at that picture to realise it was him. I gotta give it to him. Good work Peter, you lost a lot extra poundage!

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

I guess it won't be based on any intellectual property than, film or book. An original story could be a good idea here MS...

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

What? In the way that Lord of the Rings and King Kong were original ideas from Peter? (oh no you just didn't! oh yes he did!)

gardneed
gardneed

How about District 9? That seems to be a compelling option.

BenBenBen93
BenBenBen93

peter has lost a lot of weight. since LOTR

Raeldor
Raeldor

Knowing someone as talented as Peter Jackson is working in the video games arena makes me hopeful we can push the boundaries of the artform even further.

shadowkiller11
shadowkiller11

Is it multiplatform? or exclusive to a console? as i'm curious though i can buy it for any system anyway.

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

AT LAST the 360 fans have to deal with a little gaming angst. Seems like the past few years that has all been directed at the PS3 (waaa the PS3 is to hard to code for waaaah it does not have as big an installed base waaaah I want my mommy). This is all its gonna take: A few speed bumps for the 360 and Agent coming out for the PS3 and people will be saying "360? Whats that? A new band?"

bled4days616
bled4days616

Peter Jackson is a pimp and a half. and @ Yokuz1166, Peter Jackson has always been able to make impressive movies with a relatively low budget. maybe if everyone making video game movies would go to him for advice, they would get finished when they're supposed to.

Yokuz1166
Yokuz1166

Peter Jackson is the man! If anyone can bring Halo to new heights, it's this guy. The only solid storytelling of any Halo game was the original. I'll tell you what, most experts agree that Half-Life is the greatest shooter of all time mostly because of it's storyline. IMO, the last two Halo's were bare-bones shooters. Peter Jackson can fix this. But that's not the focus of this article. If Wingnut Interactive does indeed develop an IP, this is some very exciting news. But, either way you look at it, it'll be difficult for them to get an easy start. If they don't make a shooter, then it would probably be an RPG. Two genres that are difficult to make a successful game for. But I have confidence. BTW, District 9 only cost $30 million to make yet the special effects are absolutely stunning. Peter Jackson = genius.

stalepretzels
stalepretzels

Man, Peter Jackson's lost a lot of weight. District 9 looks freaking amazing btw!

taylormadederek
taylormadederek

I don't really have high expectations for this game but I hope it is very creative and very good.

TheLothario
TheLothario

Does Jackson still have rights to Naomi Novik's "Temeraire" books? I know he bought them early on supposedly for a potential movie; I can easily see that series being told in game format. For those who haven't read any of the books, imagine European war in the early 1800s ... with giant dragons that crews of people ride on like a ship.

baystatethrashr
baystatethrashr

@payne6705 why not? youre basically making the same thing. Its not like he programming the game all by himself

payne6705
payne6705

I still don't understand why directors think they can make videogames especially a halo game I have said it be4 and will say it again just because you can make a 1 1/2- 2 hour movie with special effects that appeases the general public doesn't mean you can make a 10 hour long game to appease the fans of a video game franchise not happening

sun_rider95
sun_rider95

so no movie just lies ...microsoft style

starduke
starduke

So, we don't get Halo, but we are getting the Hobbit. I hope they cast the dude that played Bilbo in the LOTR movies to play Bilbo in the Hobbit. He was pretty good.

slayersdeath200
slayersdeath200

@CoolKidX also Spider-man 2 was a good movie to game

Darth_Pietrus
Darth_Pietrus

King Kong was quite good... And the hobbit. That is his right?

taisui
taisui

Seriously, this guy gets too much credit for taking other people's IP and make them his own. Reminds me of Puff Daddy, wait, P. Diddy, or Diddy, whatever his current name is.

CoolKidX
CoolKidX

Only good game based on a movie must be: The Warriors, period.

Simple_malk
Simple_malk

Why does everyone make such a big deal out of movie and TV directors making games? There's loads of good ideas and independent developers that deserve a shot. There's a reason why Hollywood is full of recycled ideas and remakes. It's because they try there hardest to keep the money in the pockets of there friends and family so barely any fresh blood breaks into Hollywood. There's already crappy remakes and unoriginal games. I hate to see an already saturated game market have another BS pet project of some famous shoved down the throats of gamers.

HaRiZ420
HaRiZ420

yea its really wierd how he went from a total fat ass to a skinny tourist

thingta42
thingta42

Anyone noticed How much weight Jackson has lost over the years since making LOTR.

PabloEscobar20
PabloEscobar20

@Intrakitt Del Toro is a great director but his movies were never "epic" like LoR movies.Im little bit worried about it,i don't think he can do what Jackson did with LoR franchise.But i guess when you have 300 million budget it can't be bad.

benashley
benashley

Anyone seen Peter Jacksons first 2 films, 'Bad Taste' and 'Brain Dead'? They're a far cry from Lord of the Rings. Bad Taste has got to be one of the best low budget, amateur films ever made. If you haven't I strongly suggest watching them, Jackson plays the part of a chainsaw nutjob in Bad Taste.

Intrakitt
Intrakitt

Sendmn23: What the hell are you talking about? Del Toro is a great director. Although his movies in Spanish are probably his best, they are very good movies and just because they are in Spanish that should not intimidate you from watching them. Check out Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone and tell me those aren't good movies. He also produced The Orphanage, which is another great flick...Get educated before you ramble nonsense. Then again, you're probably the type of person who thought the Transformers movies were good. Tool.

Sir_Hobo
Sir_Hobo

Holy crap! I haven't seen a pic of Peter Jackson since the LOTR DVDs. He's lost a lot of weight!

konradak
konradak

Darn, that sucks. Was looking forward to the Halo project. Wonder what he's working on now,,,

papouse84
papouse84

Sorry killer_rabbit20, this might come as a shock to you, but Stanley Kubrick died about 10 years ago.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

Sounds to me like he's (Jackson) got his fingers in too many pies at once. Hopefully the quality of each project doesn't suffer because of it.

0Aragorn0
0Aragorn0

Last time we had a famous director work on a "original game" we got Steven Spielberg's Boom Blox....yay....lol, okay, not a bad game. Though Peter Jackson is pretty interesting director and I"m interested to see what he has up his sleeves.

alexkn64
alexkn64

Wingut has created some incredible CGI in movies. Imagine what they can do with the graphics found in video games. They could possibly dethrone the Crytek as the best graphics engine.

killer_rabbit20
killer_rabbit20

Those 2 are good directors, if only they added Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott this thing could be near perfect...

Llainethequiet
Llainethequiet

@ Sendmn23 del Toro has shown to have a great eye for fantasical presentation. His resume: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0868219/ If you would rant, at least put some substance into it - what is wrong with del Toro in your book?

DarkWatchman
DarkWatchman

@ Hekynn Well Halo Legends still looks gay

Tygraph
Tygraph

@ Sendmn23 Don't get your panties in a bunch bro. Peter Jackson is executively producing it. That means his imagination and input still goes into the movie to an extent. He won't let it be ruined. Also I'm not sure if you seen Hellboy 2 or Pans Labyrinth, but both were very good. Del Toro hold merit for good directing. Rest easy.

73X
73X

Awesome. Can't wait to find out what it is.

Hekynn
Hekynn

@Sendmn23 No Halo Legends is not a cartoon its a Anime Japanese version of a US Cartoon series but with better animation. It's sort of like Batman Gotham Knights with 10 min episode clips all into a 1hr 30 min film.

Darien
Darien

Wow, Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro both look like they've lost some weight! Now who will all the other portly aspiring film directors look up to?

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

Awesome. Everything Peter Jackson touches turns into pure gold.

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

wtf? is halo legends? is it that cartoony thingy? also Guermo del torro is directing the "Hobbit." wtf? are you serious? How did they get Guermo to do the hobbit... oh man.... this is not good.... I'm SO no looking foward to this crap... a two part movie? are you for reals? oh heck why not just make it a trilogy already? I mean why not right? do another movie inbetween the Lord of the rings and hobbit and have Zack Snyder direct it... yeah! and lets make it six-ology! this is lame... the only thing and I mean this when I say it... THE ONLY THING that would have had me come to the theatre and watch the Hobbit is if Peter Jackson had done it... other than that forget it..... I'm so not there! and a game is the last of my worries in this following of sad products!.... other than halo that is.... lol!