Unknown directing delayed <i>Halo</i>

[UPDATE] Xbox.com announces that South African special-effects tech and acclaimed short-maker Neill Blomkamp will helm the eagerly anticipated blockbuster film now due in 2008.

Ever since it was announced that antipodean auteur Peter Jackson would not be directing the movie adaptation of the Halo games--he's executive-producing instead--speculation has run rampant as to who would.

For a while, Guillermo Del Toro (Blade II) was linked with the project, with the director saying publicly that he was in talks with Universal and Fox, the codistributors of the film. However, after he stated he'd rather make a sequel to his comic-book adaptation Hellboy, the rumors surrounding the Mexico-born filmmaker died down.

Today, a news flash on Xbox.com announced that Halo finally has a director--a director most people have never heard of. "The Halo motion picture will be helmed by Neill Blomkamp, making his feature film debut," read the announcement on Xbox.com.

Who is Neill Blomkamp? The announcement describes him "as one of the most innovative and original artists currently working in short films and commercial advertising." The South African native has won three Clio Awards for his ad work, as well as a Visual Effects Society Award for a TV spot showing a dancing Citroen car. He was also named as featured artist at the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase at the 2004 Cannes International Film Festival.

Blomkamp has also done some television and film work, mostly as a special effects animator. According to Internet Movie Database, he was nominated for an Emmy in 2000 for an episode of Dark Angel, and he has worked on Smallville, Mercy Point, First Wave, and Stargate SG-1.

[UPDATE] Within filmmaking circles, Blomkamp has earned some distinction for his 2005 short film Alive in Joburg. The opening scene of the six-minute short, which is viewable on YouTube, looks much like the New Mombassa maps in Halo 2: As gigantic alien ships hover over a dilapidated metropolis (in this case, Johannesburg), human troops in full combat gear confront a towering alien in power armor.

Alive in Joburg then shifts into a grim, cinema-verite portrait on the impact of the aliens' arrival, who are refugees that require water and electricity. When the authorities refuse, the aliens begin to take it for themselves via giant cables descending from their starships--which resemble the huge saucers from Independence Day--causing riots by the city's unnerved inhabitants.

The short also shows the aliens outside of their power armor scouring for resources in Johannesburg's slums. Their tentacled faces appear to be re-created with physical, rubbery makeup effects. Those effects bear an eerie resemblance to those used by Jackson in his early low-budget horror film Bad Taste, which also concerned an alien invasion (albeit a much more comic one).

Another of Blomkamp's shorts, Tetra Vaal, also has a Halo-esque--as well as a Robocop-esque--feel. Viewable on the Web site Analogik.com, it poses as a commercial for a robotics company. The visually impressive 90-second short follows a robotic policeman as he patrols an impoverished suburb of a nameless African city, at one point shooting an assault rifle.

A third short from the director, Yellow, was made to help hype Adidas' Adicolor line of athletic shoes. It has a more cyberpunk feel and follows several color-coded android agents who are released into society as part of an 18-month experiment. However, they soon go rogue and embark on a series of globe-trotting covert missions to subvert human civilization. [END UPDATE]

Today's announcement also confirmed, as many had suspected, that Halo will not hit theaters in summer 2007, as was originally planned. "The film is currently targeted for a Summer 2008 worldwide release," read the announcement. The film will be shot in New Zealand, taking advantage of that country's dramatic landscapes and favorable exchange rates. Jackson's Weta Digital and Weta Workshop will handle the effects and costumes, respectively.

Curiously, when asked about today's Halo revelations, Microsoft reps declined to answer. "We're not commenting on the announcement on Xbox.com," said a rep.

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Discussion

435 comments
draggonetic
draggonetic

i hope this is still coming out too! (2 yrs later...)

soccerthing590
soccerthing590

This guy is toooo much of a risk and he seems to copy just about everything for his ideas. If he screws this up then Halo is doomed. BRING IN A GOOD DIRECTOR!!!!!

Hojo214
Hojo214

I agree if they Screw it up I'll bge pissed

D-Tyrael
D-Tyrael

Being a game movie it´ll be hard not to turn into some 1-2 hour cliche, i hope not, but of course it has better material to work with than other game movies ive seen, and i think it would be simply better to only use the story and practically be independent from the game. And about the director, Blomkamp sound pretty good, pretty much all great directors started like this, comercials and such, moving on for the same type prizes, and this one being already in the Halo-Sci-Fi-type material sounds promising, but we'll have to wait and see

halomaster16
halomaster16

its taken them a year to pick a director. wow

Scsrhino
Scsrhino

well just have to wait and see...

Stonewall14
Stonewall14

Could be a lot worse, dudes. Just think if it was Oliver Stone. Then it would be all about how the evil covenant represent the American army and the wastelands of Earth represent Iraq, and it would have big elites randomly killing human women and children and the Covenant Prophet would look like G. W. B.

Vikingfbm
Vikingfbm

Give this guy a break, it could be Uwe Boll doing it. In that case you would all be screwed. I have a bit of faith in this directors abilities and reasons follow. I stumbled across this guy's work about a year ago and it took my breath away. "Alive in Jo'burg" is a brilliant piece of film making. It does capture the attitudes of late 1990's South Africa accurately. All to all the people saying that this director will fail, just remember that David Fincher (Alien 3, Fight Club, Seven, The Game, Panic Room), started off doing Pepsi ad's and music video's. Again, I ask for you to give this guy a chance. If it turns out a badly, I will make a public retraction on this page. Yes, is the answer to your question, I used to live in RSA. Geek info: The "Tetra Vaal " commercial is set in South African. The insignia on the android is from the SAP (South African Police) before it was changed to the SAPS (South African Police Services) after the 1994 elections. The assault rifles and side-arms are all manufactured in South Africa. They could possibly be a R-4 (7.62mm) Assault rifle and a locally produced 9mm pistol. The location could be anywhere on the outskirts of Cape Town, Johannesburg or any large town in South Africa.

Nasse78
Nasse78

Shadowkhan_13 before LOTR Peter Jackson was just the kind of director whom you would dissmiss out of hand. Personally I like this choice much better than if it had been Del Toro who was chosen to mount the project. This guy has made shorts which -whilst primitive and not to serious- still showcase a kind of filmmaking that might fit very well with the Halo universe. alec_m game based novels suck just as much as game based movies, I know I've consumed them both. ;-p Still this is a new director with a great team behind his back. I could hardly imagine a Halo film being made interesting some days ago, but with some quirky directing ala the above clip this movie just might be given the uniqueness it needs.

thomasonfa
thomasonfa

Shadowkhan_13, Just think if the 'BIG NAME' directors such as Spielberg, Lucas and Scorsese didn't get a chance to make films in the 70's, when they were nobodies, we would not have great movies like 'Jaws' or 'Star Wars' . It is time for these guys to past the torch to some of the younger, more innovative directors so we can get out of these stale movies releases that we are seeing now. Neill Blomkamp may be the ready to step up to the plate and give other directors the idea that us, movie goers, aren't just going to settle for crappy movies any more. I will give Blomkamp a chance, because imagine the budget he must have used to make those short films look so nice. Also in the past two years, have there TRULY been a good film from a 'Big Name' director??? Matter of fact could anyone answer that?

Shadowkhan_13
Shadowkhan_13

THE MOVIE MIGHT NOT TURN OUT AS GOOD BECAUSE PETER JACKSON IS NOT THE DIRECTOR AND THERE USING THESE LAME DIRECTORS THAT THERE MOVIES NEVER MADE IT BIG

Shadowkhan_13
Shadowkhan_13

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

alec_m
alec_m

ya its a game-movie...well who cares it will suck any way oh well i guess I'll just read the next novel

driftingsilvia
driftingsilvia

it'll flop and i'll be the first to take a smelly dump right on it

redfop
redfop

yea it better b good but this guy looks like he can directa cool movie

bern20
bern20

It better be worth all the hype.

soniksmybro
soniksmybro

i live in fear thinking that this movie will get watered down for the 8 year old kids who will be begging their moms to take them to see this movie. initial talks (at least that I heard) said this movie will be rater "R". it would totally suck if it gets watered down for the kids.

Cosmis
Cosmis

Only reason that this will be a GOOD movie is the buildup and work being put into it. I know that if jackson's involved, it will be as good as it can be.

DHPimp
DHPimp

i just hope its like the starwars release when everyone comes dressed up as someone like cortana or sarge. cuz that would be the most hilarouis thing ever and i could come as the MC and laugh

linknprkfan
linknprkfan

kool hope they show everthing they did in the videogames

meadie88
meadie88

still undecided on this one, whilst the halo fanboyness inside me is really up for this movie, my brain brain tells me it will be crap like the other game-based movies....a guy can always dream though....

Roy-Boy
Roy-Boy

it's definately gonna be a flop and all the litte xbots and halo freaks will rush in first day and be so disapointed they'll sh*t them selves

jacash3492
jacash3492

isnt Ridley Scott in the creation of the video as well? I think I heard that on www.rottentomatoes.com

MiserySignals
MiserySignals

It's not just about the director its about the writers and budget the movie will get

PhillipsJ2
PhillipsJ2

Why don't they just concentrate on making the damn game?

Xa31nov1s
Xa31nov1s

I'd love a Master Chief happy meal! And trading cards would be nice too!!

Xa31nov1s
Xa31nov1s

I'd love a Master Chief happy meal! And trading cards would be nice too!!

MarcoSnow06
MarcoSnow06

At first I was skeptical about this still wet-behind-the-ears director of commercials and sci fi documentary-style shorts, but after watching some of his previous work, I've been sold on his unique brand of directing. Coupled with the eye-popping visual effects we've come to expect from Weta Digital and Weta Workshop we could have a winner on our hands.

olyviolin
olyviolin

lol...how can any of u say this if going to be a lame movie...when peter jackson...samuel L...ed harris...and WETA studios are involved (all of the CGI will be done by the creators of the Lord of the Rings CGI)...cmon ppl reality check lol

CyBriZZ
CyBriZZ

The halo movie will prolly be lame, but no matter what a lot of ppl are gonna watch it anyways.

Bloodhawk_DX
Bloodhawk_DX

Sick and tired of all this Halo crap. What's next? Master Chief cereal, cartoons, and happy meal toys?

grassgreener12
grassgreener12

the halo movie will probably be a flop if not done by peter jackson....i mean how can u leave a legend like MC to some new up-and-comer director!!!im still going to see the movie just in case im actually wrong!!!NOO

Thadder
Thadder

That's some pretty cool stuff, although the guy seems to be more about creating an emotional backdrop and a sense of amazement than showing huge action sequences. While the latter sense of amazement is essential, most people who go see the Halo movie will be going mainly because they want to see the crap blown out of a couple of brutes. I just hope they don't overplay the whole thing...

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

This guy has won several awards, worked on many TV shows and films as a 3d animator, and directed some high profile short films and TV spots, yet he's still being called a "noob". If anything people should be excited since the apparent great lord of all fantasy/sci-fi Peter Jackson most certainly had some say in the choice that was made. To luckylogan, the guy is from South Africa, so that might just be why a couple of his shorts take place there. However, if you don't like it, you should check out Tempbot. Neither that nor Yellow take place in that setting, since it seems to be a problem with you for some reason.

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

This guys first works are already much better than George Lucas', Stephen Spielberg's, or Peter Jackson's were when they started, shorts or not. As long as he has a good script I think the Halo movie has a fair chance at success.

Mooshu92887
Mooshu92887

After seeing Alive in Joburg, i can totally see this guy making a Halo movie work. In anycase, anyone is better than Uwe Boll.

Oblivion_Pony
Oblivion_Pony

a bigger budget doesn't mean a better movie it just means more money for a feature film noob to piss away

ultrazone
ultrazone

luckylogan...you obviously dont know originality even if it pissed in your ear so hush. I think the director could do a great job on this film. and i'm sure the extra year won't hurt the movie. I'm just glad we arent' seeing Spielberg or Lucal touching this franchise. I dont trust them to a good job on a video game translation to film...just not their cup of tea. They're really not part of the gamer generation or even close to it. Lets hope for the best.

thomasonfa
thomasonfa

The director will do well because he has a bigger budget, less just hope it all doesn't go to a crappy actor...imagine...Ben Afleck as Master Chief....

luckylogan
luckylogan

Great ... the Halo movie is f**ked. I did not enjoy the director's documentary'esqe short films - just looks like a newbie director trying very hard to be taken seriously, with the shaky cameras, third world country, and gloomy background music - so cliche. Oh well, at least I won't have high hopes about the Halo movie.

junk1e
junk1e

I have high hopes for this film it might just be the one to break the sh**y game movie mold

homeworld22
homeworld22

Hope it doesnt have any crappy actors.

Kokulia
Kokulia

Does anyone realize that the Green Goblin costume from Spider Man 1 looks a lot like Master Chiefs Armor?