Spielberg salvaging Halo movie?

Director's Dreamworks studio rumored to be interested in troubled big-screen adaptation of Microsoft's megafranchise.

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Source: New York Magazine's showbiz blog, Vulture.

What we heard: From 2005 to 2006, the film adaptation of Microsoft's sci-fi shooter franchise Halo was the talk of Hollywood. Alas, in October 2006, the two studios behind the project--20th Century Fox and Universal--backed out, leaving it to languish in development limbo ever since.

Will the Halo movie get the Spielberg treatment?
Will the Halo movie get the Spielberg treatment?

Now, according to Vulture, the Halo movie may be back on. Citing unnamed sources, the show business blog says that Dreamworks and its head, director Steven Spielberg, are now actively seeking the big-screen rights for Halo. The apparent impetus for the push? The small matter of Halo: Reach grossing $200 million in 24 hours just last month.

Vulture also says that Dreamworks is looking at the novels based on the Halo games as source material for the film. Apparently, the move is a way to sidestep the screenplays written for the Halo film, the use of which would require Dreamworks to repay Universal $12 million in development costs. The first such novel, Halo: The Fall of Reach, was the inspiration for Halo: Reach, which depicts the conquest and eventual destruction of the titular fortress world by the Covenant.

Adding to the intrigue is the fact the current CEO of Dreamworks, Stacey Snider, was the head of Universal when it was involved in the Halo project. Then there's the matter of screenwriter Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) having already written an unsolicited spec script based on Fall of Reach. "I'm just a huge fan," he told the blog. "My long-term goal is to get three Halo movies [based on the three novelizations] made. It's not something I can accomplish tomorrow. But if I can help, I am glad to do it."

The official story: Microsoft reps had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus that Dreamworks is interested, but a source close to Microsoft told Vulture the project remains a long shot. "It's a gigantic waste of time because [Microsoft] doesn't want anything to happen in any other media that could screw up a multi-billion dollar franchise," said the source. "Somebody has to be in control of a movie; it's a director's medium. But they're completely averse to that. Because if Steven Spielberg f***s it up, what's your recourse? So the rule is: 'First, do no harm.'"

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