Halo Says Goodbye To Studios

Fox and Universal are out

Whoops. Halo is now a film without a home. Both Universal and Fox have dropped out of participating in the game adaptation.

There seems to be some disagreement as to why the studios quit the project, though everyone agrees that the starring role belongs to that classic Hollywood problem: money. This is why it’s show business, people.

Rumours had swirled that the inflating budget was the source of the trouble, but the filmmaking team, including producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, are saying that the companies tried to get them and Microsoft to reduce their profit share.

"The only budget the filmmakers every spoke about was $145 million, less the 12.5% rebate that you get from shooting in New Zealand, which would put it at about $128 million," Jackson’s spokesman Ken Kamins told Variety. "That was the only number that was ever discussed. 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 game’s designers), respectfully declined."

Jackson and co – who are developing the film in New Zealand – will look into other studios. Oh, and don’t worry about their confidence in newcomer director Neill Blomkamp: "Everybody is supremely confident in Neill," Kamins added. "Part of what excited Peter and Fran was Neill's vision. We're very confident this film will move forward with the creative partners intact, who will take the film to production.”

Peter Jackson hauling a massive project around to every studio in town? We're getting the strange sensation of deja vu. Still, that could be a very good omen...