At this point I’m sure we’re all familiar with the story of the ill-fated Halo feature film, which is potentially one of Hollywood’s biggest missed opportunities of the last decade. Peter Jackson was set to produce and Neill Blomkamp (District 9) was attached to direct, but the production fell apart when Fox and Universal backed out at the last minute. (The whole fiasco was recently explored in greater detail in Jamie Russell’s new book Generation Xbox: How Video Games Invaded Hollywood.) Since then, however, Blomkamp (along with a few other directors) have created a handful of well-received short films and live action commercials to promote the Halo video games that showed a little bit of what could have been. Microsoft is apparently looking to build on that content by producing a new web series to promote the next entry in the video game series, Halo 4. What’s even more intriguing is that it seems like it could eventually lead to another attempt at a full-fledged Halo movie.
According to Variety, Microsoft will be putting a lot of money behind Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, an online promotional campaign that will premiere exclusively on the Machinima and Halo Waypoint websites this fall. The series will consist of five weekly installments each running about 15 minutes in length, and represent Microsoft’s largest investment to date in live action entertainment. Although the creative team and cast have yet to be announced, we know that the story will revolve around a young cadet who is inspired by the Master Chief and eventually takes command on the UNSC Infinity.
It’s pretty clear to me that this new Halo web series was at least partially inspired by the Mortal Kombat: Legacy series, which helped promote the new Mortal Kombat game and has supposedly spawned a new Mortal Kombat movie. I think the Halo series could be even more successful, assuming they put some decent talent behind it, although unfortunately it seems unlikely that Blomkamp would be involved since he is currently busy with his upcoming film Baja Dunes (formerly known as Elysium). More info is expected to be announced at the San Diego Comic-Con this summer. Are you excited about Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn and would you eventually like to see a Halo feature film?