Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox have pulled out of the ´Halo´ movie, leaving the project in jeopardy. Variety reports, citing Ken Kamins, a representative of executive producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh.
"What happened was this: Universal, on behalf of both studios, asked for a meeting with the filmmakers just prior to the due date of a significant payment. Basically, they said that in order to move forward with the film, the filmmakers had to significantly reduce their deals. They waited until the last minute to have this conversation. Peter and Fran, after speaking with their producing partners and with Microsoft and Bungee (the studio that designed the original game), respectfully declined."
While the exit of two studios would seem to imperil "Halo," Kamins said Microsoft is already in talks with other distribution partners. Prep work on the film continues, he said. One advantage is having Jackson and Walsh as exec producers: Most of the pre-production is being done at their visual effects studios in New Zealand, Weta Digital and Weta Workshop, so there will be no stoppage.
The article goes on to speculate that the inexperience of director Neill Blomkamp also contributed to the studios´ decision. Blomkamp would celebrate his directing debut with ´Halo´.
Having met Peter Jackson at X06 and having asked him about his upcoming ´Halo´ media hybrids, I got the feeling that Jackson´s focus was firmly on those projects. There was no talk of the movie - although, to be fair, Jackson is only executive producer and doesn´t direct it. Still, I do believe that the two studios pulling out spells doom for the ´Halo´ movie.
Thanks to: Joystiq