Halo: Episode One?
If there’s one movie genre that can universally make everyone, young and old, cringe it’s the video game adaptation. This, of course, is thanks largely to ex-boxer turned talentless assbag, Uwe Boll, who has pretty much single handedly set the genre back to the days following the release of the Super Mario Bros. movie. However, the albatross that is Uwe Boll hasn’t stopped others from attempting to forge ahead with movies based on video games. Which is just as well, because while [I believe] we haven’t seen the definitive ‘video game to movie’ adaptation yet, there is a rich enough base to harvest potential stories from, and enough money/motivation to continue making them that the bar will eventually be set, in just the same way that Richard Donner did in 1978 and, more recently, Brian Singer and Christopher Nolan have for the ‘comic to movie’ adaptation.
Could that film be Halo? I don’t know, but Halo certainly has a huge, huge back story: Halo, released by Bungie Studios has been strongly connected by many (although I can’t verify any official stance) to an older series of games, also released by Bungie, titled ‘Marathon’. Released for the Macintosh in 1994 the Marathon titles were defensive ‘first person shooter’ style games. The first of the titles is set aboard a massive starship called the U.E.S.C. Marathon and introduces three onboard AI systems, known as Leela, Durandal and Tycho.
The Marathon series had three official installments: Marathon and Marathon 2: Durandal were released as individual titles while later a bundle, titled Marathon Infinity was released which included the two previous games and an additional third installment. Throughout the series the player must battle against a myriad of alien races and a turncoat AI system with it’s own agenda.
Purists find that there are many connections to be made between the Halo games and the Marathon series and, if those assumptions are correct, we can hope that the Marathon game may serve as a basis for any prequels, should the upcoming Halo movie (and undoubted sequels) prove to be successful.
The Halo movie is being produced by Peter Jackson’s WingNut Films. Jackson however will not be directing the movie, that job has been given to first time feature director Neill Blomkamp. Blomkamp, who is better known for his short film efforts and 3D work on Stargate SG-1, Dark Angel and Smallville, in an interview with Quint over at ACIN said:
Well, I dont want to give away exactly how I want to be, but, big budget action can certainly look very similar to 100 other films which are big budget action, so my goal is to make something that is honestly unique and a radical departure from stuff we are used to. Ive been given the resources and the source material to make something awesome, so I have to really invest myself 100% in a film that I love every frame of, and for me to love every frame means it has to have something that sets it apart. Fans of the game should love this film, people who dont know the game should be transported to a place that blows them away for two hours. [source]
Like the comments made by Jon Favreau about his vision for the Iron Man film, I find these comments from Blomkamp promising. Lets just hope that he can deliver a movie worthy of the epic back story created for the Halo (and Marathon?) games.