The long-rumored live-action film based on Microsoft’s wildly popular Halo franchise may be dead in the water (a point driven home by last month’s book excerpt detailing how the computer giant’s outrageous demands ultimately scared Hollywood off), but there is a new live-action Master Chief adventure in the works – and we’ve got details.
Microsoft’s gaming division is spending big to craft Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, a series of short films set to promote the release of the gaming giant’s Halo 4 this fall. Sources from MS say the project represents the “largest investment” the company has made in live action to date.
Taking place over five weekly installments (which will debut at Machinima.com and Halo Waypoint), each 15-minute episode will build an elaborate story about how Halo’s iconic main character Master Chief inspired a young USNC cadet. That cadet eventually becomes the leader of the USNC Infinity spacecraft. Basically, Forward Unto Dawn will be a prequel series to set up events for the franchises’ fourth game, which releases on November 6th.
MS is keeping a tight lid on the talent involved with the new initiative – no word on cast or directors yet – but they plan to unveil more details at this year’s Comic-Con in July.
The web series has numerous objectives to meet. Microsoft wants Forward Unto Dawn to appeal to hardcore Halo fans so they’re hyped up for the latest installment (which finds series creators Bungie replaced by a new team of developers known as 343 Studios). It also wants to provide an entry point for new fans who may not have played the earlier games or followed the ancillary material (books, comics, etc.) but are interested in experiencing the title without having to track all of that stuff down.
Still, the biggest objective of all is to rekindle interest in a full-on live-action Halo feature film.
We’ll have to wait and see if that comes to pass, but Halo fans can rest assured that Microsoft is still well aware of the cinematic potential of the series. “I don't think anybody needs any reminding of (the potential)," 343’s director of franchise business management Matt McCloskey said. "Everyone keeps reminding us of that."
[via Blastr and Variety]