Despite reports late last week of Fox and Universal Studios backing out of the Halo
movie deal currently in pre-production, Microsoft and Bungie have issued a statement confirming their continued support of the feature film.
movie, first announced during Microsoft's annual X05 event in Amsterdam in October 2005, is to be directed by Neill Blomkamp and executive produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh.
According to last week's report
, budget concerns were to blame for the studios' recoiling from the movie, with costs apparently exceeding the film's already substantial allocated budget of $135 million. Representatives from both Universal and Fox had apparently tried to get Jackson and Walsh to accept cuts in expected profits from the venture, though these attempts reportedly proved unsuccessful.
In a statement relayed through
Bungie's website, Microsoft has confirmed its commitment to the project, saying:
"We are disappointed that Universal and Fox wanted to significantly renegotiate the financial points of the deal. But the Halo franchise is hugely popular and our 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. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and the rest of the creative team are dedicated to ensuring the Halo movie becomes a reality. We are already in discussions with potential partners who recognize the value of the Halo brand and its appeal to consumers worldwide."
Bungie's own line on the film is similarly optimistic "for reasons we can't go into. Frankly we're interested in making the best movie, and it's possible that a partner who's more concerned with numbers, might not be the best partner for what's more vitally a creative process." The company added, "Suffice it to say that Peter, Neill, Fran and Microsoft are as excited and dedicated as ever and WETA continues the pre-production process."
Bungie expects to make more details on the movie available in coming weeks.