Del Toro torn over Halo movie

Director confirms he's in talks to direct but said he'd prefer making <i>Hellboy 2</i>.

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At a recent New York press event for Peter Jackson's film King Kong, rumors spread that Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro had been hired to direct the film adaptation of Halo. Days later, that theory appeared to have been shot down, courtesy of an online interview with Jackson, who is executive producer of Halo. He told the site Dark Horizons that no director had been signed and said none would be until 2006.

Yesterday, though, the Halo-helmer story took another turn. Speaking to the British film magazine Empire, del Toro confirmed that he has indeed been approached to direct Halo. "I'm in talks with them [distributors Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox] and Peter," he told the mag.

Perhaps more astonishing to fans is the fact that the Halo movie is only of secondary interest to del Toro. The filmmaker's top priority is a sequel to Hellboy, which has reportedly done well on video. "Halo is very much an interesting project, because it's so full of monsters," he said. "It's a big temptation...but it's not true that it's on and Hellboy's off. Hellboy's on. If everything goes as planned, Hellboy will go...It's still on the front burner, but it's all about the budget."

Given the time-sensitive nature and scale of Halo, which is being fast-tracked for an early 2006 production start and a summer 2007 release, it's unlikely that Universal, Fox, and Jackson would wait until del Toro finished Hellboy 2. "The ideal for me would be to do Hellboy 2 and if Halo doesn't go away, then yeah, I'd love to do both," he told Empire. "But it may go to somebody else. We'll see."

However, just because del Toro is prioritizing Hellboy 2 doesn't mean that he isn't a fan of Halo the game. "Most of the time games don't have a universe or creatures that interest me enough, and this one does," he said. "The Master Chief is such an iconic character...It's a very intense game, and I thought it was very cinematic. The game is structured in many ways like a movie. It could kick some ass."

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