7 Coolest Facts About Peter Jackson’s Unmade Halo Film

2008 teased a major expansion of the extremely popular Halo franchise. What was once just in video game and book form could very well be up on the silver screen as a big-budget film. Furthermore, The Lord of the Rings and King Kong director Peter Jackson could be the one to direct it.

Then, the gig looked to be Chappie director Neill Blomkamp’s, with Jackson still on as executive producer. In the end, Halo was scrapped with Blomkamp and Jackson turning their focus to District 9 instead. Even still, there are plenty of hints out there as to just what the Jackson Halo movie would have been.

It Would Have Been Live-Action

Peter Jackson making his Halo live-action seems like a no-brainer. However, considering Jackson worked with Steven Spielberg on 2011’s The Adventures of Tintin, there was at least a possibility it would be computer-animated.

Fortunately, according to Halopedia, the film was always going to be live-action. Providing the SFX would be Jackson’s own WETA Workshop along with WETA Digital. Considering how gorgeous the mixture of practical and computer-generated effects look in his Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s safe to assume Jackson’s cinematic rendition of Halo‘s hardest missions would have looked breathtaking.

There Would Have Also Been A Game Called Halo Chronicles

A blue Master Chief with a gun in Halo Infinite

When the Halo movie fell, so too did Jackson’s planned Halo Chronicles. It was set to be an episodic game (an angle which is used in video games more frequently now) created in collaboration between Bungie and WingNut.

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Jackson is a master at introducing a massive scope yet keeping it palatable. The Halo series is perfect for this skill, and it seems that Jackson was far from content to keep his work with the franchise relegated to one film.

It Wouldn’t Have Just Been A Movie

Close Up of Master Chief in Halo 4

Jackson gave an interview during X06, according to Halo Fandom, that shed quite a bit of light on what he was planning. “The Halo movie…it’s not a game, it’s not a movie, it’s a combination of the two. It won’t be like a traditional game experience, but it also won’t be like watching a DVD where you passively sit back and let it all happen in front of you.”

In short, Jackson’s version of Halo would have been a truly immersive experience where viewers get to stand by Master Chief as he delivers his tough-guy quotes. It sounds just like the type of thing that would do better in 2021 than the mid to late aughts.

A Fully Functional Warthog Was Built

The Warthog from Halo

Just as the Halo game franchise has iconic weapons, it has iconic vehicles. The most famous of all would easily be the Warthog. Other games have put guns on vehicles, but the Warthog’s easy driveability and intimidating appearance made it an icon of videogame history.

According to Halopedia, a fully functional and drivable Warthog had been not only planned but constructed. The final design stuck very true to the game’s version of the Warthog and would have been a blast to see on the screen. In a way, fans did get to see this vehicle, as it was repurposed for District 9.

It Wouldn’t Have Been All Jackson

Saoirse Ronan and Peter Jackson filming Lovely Bones

Whether Peter Jackson had directed or just produced Halo, it wouldn’t have just been his ballgame. Microsoft is extremely protective of Halo, as well they should be considering it’s their cash cow.

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For the movie to get made, Microsoft required $10 million as well as 15% of the Halo film’s box office. Fox was the only studio to agree to those terms. However, Microsoft also wanted final approval of casting and choice of director. In short, no matter who ended up directing it, the film would not have strayed but so far from Microsoft’s original IP.

The Script Was By Alex Garland

Halo: Master Chief Collection Season 8 Patch Notes

Once attached to Halo alongside Jackson and Blomkamp was none other than Alex Garland. On top of writing and directing Annihilation an Ex Machina, Garland has written such outright excellent films as Dredd, Never Let Me Go, and 28 Days Later.

It was the latter project that drew the interest of those working on Halo. Specifically, Garland’s rendition of the zombie made producers curious how he could tackle Halo‘s notorious The Flood. Garland has a way of making genre films that feel more like character pieces, so it would be hard to imagine him not making Halo feel even more mature and realistic. His script could have very well led to one of the best Peter Jackson movies.

The Plot

Halo's Master Chief in front of a mountain

According to Game Rant, the plot for the Halo film would have stuck fairly close to the overarching narrative of the video games.

It’s a plot tailor-made for a film trilogy, too. Humanity is losing a war against aliens called the Covenant. They then discover a ringworld called Halo. On that ringworld, they find the film’s true villain, The Flood. It’s a narrative progression that’s been tackled effectively before. Have associable humans fight a threat they think is the greatest ever, only to be proven wrong and have to team up with their enemy to defeat it.

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