February 15, 2011

The Halo Effect

HALO, the very mention of the name conjures up late nights with plasma grenades and Spartan Lasers. The game is a cultural landmark and monster franchise, but there still are no real plans for a big time feature film. Fanboys have had to settle for a series of live action short films, presented as commercials to get their live action Halo fix. With the announcement that Noam Murro will be directing "Die Hard 5," I went back to the all the live action commercials and every single director who has made one as a HUGE film project on the horizon. Simply put, if you make a dope live action Halo Short film, people trust you to make a big budget Hollywood movie - I call it the Halo Effect.

1. The Master Chief - Neil Blomkamp

Halo Connection - Blomkamp's Halo connection is the stuff of the legend. Handpicked by Peter Jackson to direct the big budget Halo film, he had the project taken away from him by Fox and Universal. They didn't trust a rookie director with the mega franchise. When they pulled the plug, they had some props already made in pre-production and Blomkamp used them to make this short film to promote Halo 3.

What's Next - After blowing the globe's mind with "District 9," Blomkamp is prepping his next film "Elysium." This film, set to come out in 2012, has a 100 Million dollar budget and will reportedly star Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, and "District 9" star Sharlto Copley. It will be a science fiction film and if this piece of viral marketing is to be believed, it will involve some pretty gnarly aliens.

2. Noble Six Elite Squad - Rupert Sanders

Halo Connection - Titled "We are ODST" Sanders directed the first live action short after Blomkamp and it's safe to say he brought it hard (maybe a little too hard, it's just a game bro). Intended as a commercial for Halo 3: ODST, once again, the same type of imagery and props are used, although this time the whole thing is more grim that Blomkamp's outing.

What's Next - Strangely, Sanders is directing a mega budget action version of "Snow White" for Universal Pictures. Yes, he went from Spartans to Snow White. Titled "Snow White and the Huntsmen" the film rumored to star Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, and Kristen Stewart is an adventure in the spirit of "Pirates of the Caribbean."

3. The Rookie - Noam Murro

Halo Connection - I know, I know, I posted this yesterday, but this is the final short film made so far in the Halo Universe. Intended as the finale of the "Remember Reach" webseries for this fall's "Halo Reach" the story once again uses the familiar imagery but also introduces new gameplay elements, like the mighty jetpack.

What's Next - Die Hard 5! Just last Friday, Murro became one more director to land a big time gig after being associated with the video game franchise. While his attachment to the film is preliminary, one can assume the the film will involve Bruce Willis kicking ass. Considering that in the last film, Willis saved the entire country, don't be surprised if he is now saving the entire planet. Maybe? Could be cool?

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