There was a well publicized attempt to bring Microsoft’s incredibly successful sci-fi video game series “Halo” to the big screen a few years ago. Alex Garland (“The Beach”) wrote a script, Peter Jackson was going to be the executive producer and Neill Blomkamp (“District 9”) was signed on to direct. The project fell apart, though fans have continued to hold out hope of seeing Master Chief and the world of the game in film form.
They may not be getting their wish, but it looks like they’re going to get something close. At a press event in Redmond, WA today, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One, the latest in its line of game consoles turned multipurpose media platform. And, in accordance with the evolution of the device, which now aims to be the “ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system,” Microsoft revealed plans to begin rolling out original series.
Steven Spielberg will executive produce a live-action series based on “Halo” that will be entitled “World of Halo,” and will only be available via the Xbox — at least in terms of some of the content produced (while the presentation suggested exclusivity on the series itself, Microsoft’s later announcement that it would come “with exclusive interactive Xbox One content” suggests that’s not necessarily yet determined). Spielberg will produce the series with 343 Industries, the game developer that oversees the “Halo” franchise. “The Halo universe is an amazing opportunity to be at that intersection where technology and myth-making meet to produce something truly groundbreaking,” Spielberg said at the event in a prerecorded video.
Those were the only details released so far regarding the series — the Xbox One is slated to come out in the fall. This makes the Xbox ecosystem the latest unconventional platform to get in the TV game and to offer up original programming, joining Netflix, DirecTV, Hulu and Amazon in the new frontier of the medium. 343 produced an animated project based on “Halo” in 2010 — “Halo Legends” is a collection of seven short anime films set in the universe of the games and created by six different Japanese production houses. Spielberg’s current TV projects include “Falling Skies,” “Lucky 7” and “Under the Dome” — he serves as executive producer on all three.