Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Variety.com - 'Halo' makes a date

Variety.com - 'Halo' makes a date: "Master Chief is gunning for the bigscreen in summer '07.

Fox and Universal have closed their deal to make a movie based on Microsoft's hit vidgame 'Halo,' with plans for a tentpole in two years. Studios will pay the tech giant $5 million against 10% of the gross.

Universal will oversee the production and is handling domestic distribution, while Fox will take foreign distribdistrib. Studios will split revenues 50/50 out of a shared pot.

Former Columbia prexyprexy Peter SchlesselPeter Schlessel, who served as a Hollywood liaison for Microsoft, is producing. '28 Days Later''28 Days Later' scribe Alex GarlandAlex Garland was paid $1 million by Microsoft to pen a script that met its approval (Daily Variety, Feb. 4). He'll now do a rewrite with studio notes, after which U will go out to directors.

' 'Halo' is one of those rare properties where you have a rich world from which to draw as well as a recognized brand, which in today's times is a benefit to anyone developing and producing films,' Universal production prexy Donna LangleyDonna Langley said.

When Microsoft first hit studios with the script in June, delivered by messengers dressed as Master Chief, it had a long list of deal points, including $10 million against 15% of the gross, extensive creative control and quick progress to production (Daily Variety, June 7).

It was the details of Microsoft's involvement that took several months to finalize, since financials were largely worked out by mid-June (Daily Variety, June 10).

Tech giant is now guaranteed extensive consultation on the project, but won't have approval over any elements. Several employees at Bungie, the Microsoft-owned development studio that created 'Halo,' will serve as Microsoft's creative consultants.

'Our conversations in the last few weeks focused on the level of collaboration needed to bring this complex property to life,' said Peter Moore, marketing and publishing VP"

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