We're totally calling it: the Halo movie is never happening. When Steven-freakin-Spielberg says he wants to make a film, and Microsoft still says no, it's doomed. Here are 10 other video game films you'll see before you ever see Halo.
After seeing District 9, we're sad we'll never get to see Halo done by Neill Blomkamp and Peter Jackson, because those are some storytelling and visual-effects chops. The truth is, video game movies don't have to suck — as long as someone better than Uwe Boll is in the director's chair, and you avoid the kind of bizarre decisions that went into giving us Doom.
So here are the ten movies that have a better chance of reaching screens than Halo right now - some of which might even be great.
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The game: Dead Space.
Who's in? D.J. Caruso, director of Disturbia and Eagle Eye (and in line to direct Y: The Last Man) was announced as director of this film recently.
What's the Hollywood summary? As Variety puts it, "Set in deep space in the 26th Century, the thriller focuses on an engineer who responds to a distress signal from a mining ship, only to find it infested with monstrous creatures called Necromorphs, human corpses that have been re-animated by an alien virus. The engineer and his team retrofit most of their weapons from tools on the mining ship, and try to stay alive long enough to discover the "hive mind" that is controlling the creatures."
Is it really more likely than Halo? There's a production deal, but nobody's written a script yet, and Caruso still wants to make a Y movie. He's also in pre-production on a movie called Jack The Giant Killer, and working on The Defenders, according to IMDB.
The game: BioShock
Who's in? Gore Verbinsiki, director of the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies. With a screenplay by John Logan (Gladiator, Star Trek: Nemesis).
What's the Hollywood summary? Says Variety, "Story takes place in the underwater city Rapture, where a pilot crash-lands near a secret entrance and becomes involved in a power struggle."
Is it really more likely than Halo? Maybe not. Back in April, Universal put the project on hold due to concerns about its high budget (around $160 million.) But Variety adds: "All parties vow that "Bioshock" will not become another "Halo," the would-be live-action adaptation of the Microsoft game that was canceled when Universal and Fox got cold feet over budget fears." So there you go. They vow. And Verbinski bailed out of Pirates 4 to do this project, so he's motivated.
The game: Duke Nukem
Who's in? Depth Entertainment, the studio that produced Max Payne. (So if you liked Max Payne, you're all set.)
What's the Hollywood summary? No details are available, but basically a wisecracking guy fights aliens. Says Scott Miller with 3-D Realms: "We're taking an all-new direction this time around. I haven't seen that old material in years, and can't even remember what it was about. So, we're starting from scratch on a story. Our first order of business is to create a Duke Nukem storyverse, which is similar to a story bible, and fleshes out all of the characters, their histories, motives, and gives a very detailed description of the Duke Nukem "universe." Once this is created, we then have the foundation to create a story and a script. This storyverse document will also be useful for future projects."
Is it really more likely than Halo? Max Payne got made, didn't it? Picture Mark Wahlberg in a tank top.
The game: Area 51
Who's in? Comics god Grant Morrison was hired to write the screenplay in 2007 for Paramount Pictures. No director or stars are attached, though.
What's the Hollywood summary? Says Variety, "Set in the U.S. government's most top-secret military facility, storyline revolves around a hazardous materials specialist who is called in to investigate a viral outbreak that could be extra-terrestrial in nature."
Is it really more likely than Halo? Um, well... there's been no movement since Morrison was attached as screenwriter in 2007.
The game: Mass Effect
Who's in? Avi Arad, former head of Marvel movies and producer of the Spider-Man and X-Men movies, signed on last September.
What's the Hollywood summary? The story follows Commander Shepherd and his crew as they save alien species from the systematic eradication that a random species must face every 50,000 years from a pitiless mechanical foe. And a crusty bureaucray stands in their way at every turn.
Is it really more likely than Halo? Arad has a track record of getting movies made, obvously — but there's been no news in almost a year.
The game: inFAMOUS
Who's in? It was announced in late July8 that Sheldon Turner, writer of The Longest Yard remake and Up In The Air, pitched a movie adaptation and Sony picked it up. Former Marvel exec Avi Arad (and Ari Arad) will produce.
What's the Hollywood summary? Says the Hollywood Reporter, "inFAMOUS centers on bike messenger Cole MacGrath, who survives an explosion that destroys entire blocks of Empire City only to find he has new electricity-derived super powers."
Is it really more likely than Halo? Sony seems highly motivated to make it happen, especially since sister company Sony Computer Entertainment published the game, from Sucker Punch Prods.
The game: Asteroids
Who's in? It was just announced that Lorenzo di Bonaventura (G.I. Joe) will be producing, with a screenplay by Matthew Lopez (Race To Witch Mountain.) No director or stars yet. (Insert your own joke about various Hollywood stars who could play convincing chunks of space rock.)
What's the Hollywood summary? Says di Bonaventura, "We've crafted a really strong, deep mythology for the thing. Without divulging too much about it, it's two lead characters – two brothers – who have to go through a seminal experience to figure out their relationship, against this huge backdrop."
Is it really more likely than Halo? Well, G.I. Joe did pretty well. So, yeah.
The game: World Of Warcraft
Who's in? Sam Raimi is signed up to direct, after he's done making Spider-Man 4. Charles Roven (The Dark Knight) is producing.
What's the Hollywood summary? Says the Guardian, Warcraft "is set in a medieval-style fantasy world called Azeroth populated by humans and such Lord of the Rings-style races as orcs, trolls and dwarves, but also the undead and blood elves. Players must choose whether to join the nefarious Horde or the Alliance faction."
Is it really more likely than Halo? It's pretty much a done deal. Raimi is supervising the start of production while he works on Spidey. It may even be decent.
The game: Gears Of War
Who's in? Len Wiseman (Live Free Or Die Hard) is directing, from a script by Chris Morgan (Wanted), with Bowen and Godfrey of Temple Hill producing for New Line. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson won't star, because "a Doom connection would not be smart for us," says Wiseman. But he's hoping Kate Beckinsale will play Maria, the doomed wife of second-in-command Dominic Santiago.
What's the Hollywood summary? Wiseman told Comic Con that the movie will include Emergence Day, when the enemy Locusts emerged from underground and revealed themselves to the human inhabitants of the distant planet Sera. That would make the movie a prequel to the games, which take place long after Emergence Day. Also, Wiseman says there would be more bad-ass female soldiers.
Is it really more likely than Halo? It's still in the early stages, but Wiseman seems pretty determined to make it a reality.
The game: The Sims
Who's in? John Davis (Norbit, Eragon) is producing for Fox, with a screenplay by Brian Lynch.
What's the Hollywood summary? A couple of kids get their hands on the Sims Enhancement Pack, says Davis, and then mayhem results: "What they realize is that they can scan their world in, because this is the most life-like, real Sims game ever. As they are playing this, they are all of a sudden realising [that] what they are playing on the game is having an effect on the real world. So in effect, through the game, they are able to control their world. It's wish fulfillment, and obviously it turns against them."
Is it really more likely than Halo? It was announced in 2007 and has been stalled since then. But never underestimate Hollywood's sadism.