An official statement from Microsoft has revealed that the motion picture based on Bungie's Halo franchise will be helmed by Neill Blomkamp, a short film and commercial director making his feature film debut with the movie.
A native of South Africa, Blomkamp directed the acclaimed 2005 short film, Alive in Joburg, that depicted a future in which extraterrestrials have become refugees. Last year, Blomkamp also received three Clio Awards and a Visual Effects Society Award for his television commercial Citroen-Alive with Technology.
In 2004, Blomkamp was recognized as "One of the Top Five Directors to Watch" at the First Boards Awards and was a featured artist at the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase at Cannes. He has also been nominated for an Emmy award for his work on an episode of James Cameron's Dark Angel.
Mary Parent, Scott Stuber and Peter Schlessel will produce Halo. The film is currently targeted for a Summer 2008 worldwide release. Halo will be shot in Wellington, New Zealand, and will make use of the full range of executive producer Peter Jackson's state-of-the-art production and post-production facilities there, including Weta, Stone Street Studios, and Park Road Post.
The release from Microsoft also mentions latest figures for the video game franchise: "Halo and its 2004 follow-up Halo 2 have sold a combined 14.5 million copies worldwide and grossed more than $650 million (U.S.). On November 2004, Halo 2 shattered records with $125 million in first-day sales."
"As a gaming fan, I'm excited to bring Halo's premise, action and settings to the screen with all the specificity and reality today's technology can provide," said Jackson. "Fran and I are intrigued by the unique challenges this project offers, and we're delighted to be working again with our friends at Universal, and with our new ones at Fox and Microsoft. With Neill on board, I'm even more excited by the potential of this project."