Rumor: Halo movie script a "tour de force"

Usually trustworthy script-review site likens the screenplay for the much-anticipated game adaptation to a sci-fi <i>Saving Private Ryan</i>.


Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo 2
Halo 3

Source: The celebrated script-snatchers at Latinoreview.

The official story: Attempts to contact representatives at Halo distributor Universal Studios went unanswered as of press time.


What we heard: Latinoreview has been a source of early reviews of film scripts. Last week, reviewer El Mayimbe brought forth the first details of the Splinter Cell movie script (the same week as a leak of the possible plot for Splinter Cell 4). While the rundown of Sam Fisher's first big-screen foray was indeed interesting, El Mayimbe dropped a not so-subtle-hint that he had an even bigger scoop in store-- a review of the highly guarded script for the Halo movie.

As fans know, Halo is expected to blast onto the big screen in 2007. Its developer Bungie and publisher Microsoft opted to make the movie on certain conditions. Microsoft paid novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later, The Beach) $1 million to pen a script using a set of guidelines put forth by Bungie's creative directors, and shopped the script around to studios via couriers dressed as series hero Master Chief. Though the Halo franchise has made $600 million and counting, several studios passed before Fox and Universal took on the project, due to Microsoft's rather stark demands of creative control and monetary compensation.

Though El Mayimbe said he wouldn't have the Halo script until November 9, today he posted a review on the site. In short, he LOVES it. Though the oft-excitable reviewer has previously heaped praise on many screenplays, he seems particularly taken with this draft of Halo, calling it a "tour de force" and giving it his highest rating of five stars.

El Mayimbe does a fairly in-depth job at laying out Halo's first act, which combines elements of the original Halo game and the novel Halo: Fall of Reach, which sees large-scale battles between Covenant armies and multiple SPARTAN troopers. Without letting too many spoilers slip, if El Mayimbe is correct, the film will sport familiar ships, such as The Pillar of Autumn and Truth and Reconciliation, as well as enemies like Jackals, Hunters, and Elites.

Perhaps most impressively, El Mayimbe says the game's visceral violence isn't watered down in the script, which he terms "the Saving Private Ryan of video game movies." "We got headshots, bodies being cut in half by the swords of the Stealth Elite," he wrote. "We see what kind of damage plasma grenades can do and yes we get to see the horror of flood infection vessels--heads snapping back and torsos exploding."

But how trustworthy is Latinoreivew? Its past reviews of critically lauded blockbusters--Batman Begins and The Bourne Supremacy--haven proven to be pretty much spot on. But is the script the real deal? Since NBC-Universal isn't talking, we don't know for sure.

Bogus or not bogus?: We're going on faith and saying not bogus. That said, many-a-great script has ended up becoming a mediocre movie. Hopefully Executive Peter Jackson will assure a quality final product.

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