The ongoing rumours of a Halo movie have been vindicated with the news that Microsoft have distributed a script for a Halo movie to several Hollywood studios. The scripts were delivered by couriers rigged out in full Master Chief armour, no doubt provided by Nightmare Armour. The script has been penned by Alex Garland who was the script writer for 28 Days Later. He allegedly was paid $1 million for writing the script. According to Frankie in this week’s Weekly What’s Update Alex is a Halo fan. Commenting on the early draft of the script that Frankie saw, he says that “it rules”.
According to HBO, The New York Times has an article that gives more information, including Microsoft’s demands:
Aside from the $10 million upfront fee, Microsoft was asking for 15 percent of the studio’s first-dollar box- office gross receipts. The budget could be no less than $75 million, not including the fees for the actors and director. If the studio did not make the movie, it would forfeit the $10 million fee.
Microsoft also wanted creative control, with the script and characters unchanged. The studio would have to pay to fly a Microsoft representative to watch all cuts of the movie, and the studio would forgo merchandising rights.
According to the article, Microsoft has not got things its own way, and has tentatively reached agreement with Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox. Apparently the details of the agreement are:
Microsoft would be paid no more than $5 million for Halo, half the original asking price. That amount was part of a deal to give Microsoft 10 percent of the first-dollar box-office gross receipts, less than before but still considerable given Microsoft’s lack of a track record. Universal, in turn, would oversee production and get domestic distribution rights, while Fox would get the foreign rights and have a say in production.
The main sticking point seems to be the creative control that Microsoft wishes to retain.
Personally, I’d really look forward to a Halo movie – but I’d rather not have any Halo movie than have one that messes with the story or doesn’t abide by the Halo Story Bible. Whether it’s live action of CGI doesn’t bother me, but live-action would be great if they could pull it off. I’m not sure who I’d like playing the Master Chief – perhaps Steve Downes who does the voice of the MC in the games. However, I think Scarlett Johansson would make an excellent Cortana