Representatives from Microsoft and Peter Jackson's Wingnut Films studio have confirmed that production on the Halo film has been officially postponed, after earlier reports of Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox backing out of the big-budget feature.
Though re-confirmed with a great deal of enthusiasm at Microsoft's recent X06 press event, the forthcoming Halo feature film, set to be produced by noted director Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, suffered financial setbacks very soon afterward.
Those setbacks came less than two weeks ago, when it was reported that both Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox had backed out of the project citing budget concerns, with costs for the film apparently exceeding the film's already substantial allocated budget of $135 million.
In response, Microsoft itself stated its firm commitment to and backing of the project in a statement given through Bungie's website, where the company maintained its "goal remains the same - to find a partner that shares our passion and will creatively collaborate with us to best represent the story and spirit of the Halo franchise, and promised it was "already in discussions with potential partners who recognize the value of the Halo brand and its appeal to consumers worldwide."
In a statement jointly made by Microsoft and Peter Jackson's Wingnut Films studio today, though, the outlook for the feature has been somewhat dimmed:
"As was previously confirmed, we deeply regret that both Universal and Fox did not choose to move forward with financing the Halo film under the original terms of the agreement. At this time Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, along with their partner, Microsoft, have mutually agreed to postpone making a feature film based on the Halo video game universe until we can fulfill the promise we made to millions of Halo fans throughout the world that we would settle for no less than bringing a first class film to the big screen.
We are fully supportive of Director Neill Blomkamp's vision of the film. Neill is a tremendously gifted filmmaker and his preliminary work on Halo is truly awe-inspiring. While it will undoubtedly take a little longer for Halo to reach the big screen, we are confident that the final feature film will be well worth the wait."