Neill Blomkamp, the director of “District 9” and “Elysium,” has given his thoughts on the upcoming “Halo” television series, based on the video games he was once signed on to adapt.
“Dude, I think it’s cool, man,” Blomkamp told GamesTM. “I still love the world of Halo. The mythology of Halo is incredible. I don’t think that’ll ever change for me.”
The “Halo” video games are set 500 years in the future and explore the discovery of Halo, a giant, mysterious ring world created by an ancient alien species called the Forerunners. The story of the ring, which harbors a dark secret, is told on the backdrop of an interstellar war between humanity and a zealous group of alien races called the Covenant. Although the franchise was created by game developer Bungie, “Halo” is now managed by the Microsoft-created studio 343 Industries.
Before “District 9,” Blomkamp was tapped to direct a live-action feature film based on “Halo” with Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit”) set to produce. In 2007, he directed a short film called “Halo: Landfall” that acted as test footage for the movie while promoting the release of “Halo 3.” The “Halo” movie was to shoot in New Zealand, but Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox withdrew their funding, and early pre-production costs were channeled into developing “District 9.”
On the demise of the film, Blomkamp said: “The film went down in a pretty bad way, but that was more the studio’s fault. That wasn’t really Halo or Microsoft’s fault.”
The “Halo” television series, which is being produced by Steven Spielberg, was announced by Microsoft in May during the announcement of its new games console, the Xbox One. The show is in the early stages of development and will premiere on the Xbox Live service as a form of premium television. Details about the project are scarce, however.
This is not the first time “Halo” has entered the live-action realm — alongside the previously mentioned “Halo: Landfall,” live-action commercials were produced for “Halo 3: ODST” and “Halo: Reach.” Also, a Web series called “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” was released last year and proved successful.
When asked if there was a specific moment from the “Halo” mythology he would like to see adapted, Blomkamp said, “No, because I would want to see myself do it. It’s kind of a weird one. If James Cameron did it then I’d be stoked, but I don’t know who’s going to do it, though.”
Blomkamp said in April that he would still like to do the “Halo” movie, but he has also said he thinks the failure of the film was “lucky.” If the project hadn’t collapsed, “District 9” would not have been made, and the director might not have gotten his big break in the industry.
Alongside Microsoft’s “Halo” show, Syfy is developing a miniseries based on Larry Niven’s “Ringworld,” which was a principle inspiration behind “Halo.”
Neill Blomkamp’s “Elysium” is out in theaters this week in the United States. Although no premiere schedule has been set for the “Halo” television series, it could be released in 2014 if production starts up soon.