Why Peter Jackson’s Halo Game Never Happened

Halo has seen a number of different spin-offs over the years, but one of the biggest ones, a planned episodic Halo game from director Peter Jackson, never saw the light of day. While Jackson’s Halo would have been among the first Halo-related spin-off projects outside the core game series by developer Bungie, it thankfully wasn’t the last. The fact that Jackson’s project never got off the ground has scarcely stopped Halo from continuing to spread its wings as a franchise, whether it be the franchise’s ongoing book series, Showtime’s upcoming Halo TV show, or arcade games like Halo: Fireteam Raven.

But why, exactly, did Jackson’s Halo game never come to fruition? At the time of the project’s announcement in 2006, Jackson was riding high off the massive success of Lord of the Rings trilogy and had recently finished his reimagining of King Kong. Jackson at the time could do no wrong, and his enthusiasm around the potential of video games as a storytelling medium made him a perfect fit to helm a new, narrative-focused Halo project.

Unfortunately, it just wasn’t in the cards, in large part thanks to matters outside Jackson’s control. The project was cancelled in 2009 with little to show in regards to the game, leaving fans wondering what happened. Here’s why Jackson’s Halo game never released, and what happened next.

Why Peter Jackson’s Halo Game Was Cancelled

Jackson formed WingNut interactive in 2006 to work on a Halo spin-off titled Halo Chronicles, which was originally envisioned as an episodic project. Multiple Bungie employees were set to help in the creation of the project, with Bungie’s Joseph Staten helping WingNut Interactive come up with the game’s story. Some of those story ideas, such as a focus on a non-Spartan hero, Forerunner warriors called Prometheans, and its episodic format, would later be seen in games like Halo 3: ODST and Halo 4.

The reason Peter Jackson’s Halo game never came to be is largely thanks to another project failing to come together – a planned Halo film. The film, announced to be in the works in 2005 only to be cancelled in 2006, would have been executive produced by Jackson and directed by Neil Blomkamp. Unfortunately, funding for the film didn’t come together thanks to disagreements between Microsoft, Universal, and Fox. The project quickly became dead in the water thanks to rising costs associated with the project and the inability of the three parties involved to come to some kind of agreement. Unfortunately, the death of the Halo film also meant the demise of Halo Chronicles, with Jackson revealing that when the film fell through due to the “internal politics” of Hollywood, it also ended his involvement with the game.

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While fans never got to see what, exactly, Jackson’s game would have been like, test footage filmed by Blomkamp prior to the Halo film’s cancellation would eventually see the light of day. Using props created by Jackson’s Weta Workshop, the test footage would be put together promote Halo 3’s release under the name Halo: Landfall. Jackson and Blomkamp would then go on to create District 9 together, even cleverly using some Halo props in the film. Halo Chronicles may have never released, but some of its ideas, such as a focus on the human-element of the sci-fi franchise, will be a major focus in Showtime’s Halo series.

Source: Gameindustry.biz, Vice

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