It’s actually kind of surprising that the Halo franchise has been bereft of a film adaptation at this point; considering the massive amount of acclaim the series has garnered, bringing it to the screen, big or small, has been a curious process. A few years back, it looked as if Halo was making definite strides towards a movie: Peter Jackson was tied to the project with promising newcomer Neill Blomkamp tapped to direct. A short film directed by Blomkamp surfaced around E3 2007 depicting a battle between human soldiers and Covenant troops and it was widely praised. After that, though, the Halo film got caught in development hell and it has since been canceled.
The next mention of a cinematic Halo came at ComicCon 2009 where Microsoft announced the creation of 343 Industries, an internal company focused solely on the management of the Halo IP. With former Bungie veteran Frank O’Conner leading the newly formed team, 343 showed off a trailer for Halo: Legends, a collaborative effort with several renowned Anime companies.
Comprised of seven short films, all about ten minutes in length, Legends promised to give an in-depth look at snippets of the Halo universe, including a peek at the oft-mention but curiously absent Forerunners, the race that built the titular ring-shaped space stations of the series. A couple of the shorts were released as a preview on the X-Box LIVE exclusive Halo Waypoint, with the full retail version hitting stores on February 16. Now that the whole product it out in the wild, how does it stand up?
Continue reading Review: Halo: Legends
Hello and welcome to Cross-Contaminated Media, a short series on video game franchises that have taken their fictional settings and expanded them into books, comics, and film. As the video game industry becomes even more wide-spread, we’re seeing a lot of companies try their hand at developing their intellectual properties by taking them off of a game disk and put them into forms of media that are less graphically intensive, but require more attention on the story and characters.
Of all the companies currently trying their hand at pursuing different avenues of story-telling, Halo is the one that stands out to most people as the current leader of this pack. When we popped Halo: Combat Evolved into our X-Boxes for the first time, we were vaguely aware that there was some history behind this game, at least according to the small preface in the manual. There was some planet named REACH that had been destroyed, Humanity was fighting a losing battle with a genocidal alien hegemony, and the character you were going to be controlling was the last of his kind, a genetically engineered super soldier.
But why had these events come to pass? The story of Halo was preceded by 25 years of brutal warfare and intrigue, and those of us who were engrossed by the game’s universe could only scratch at the surface of the story. Microsoft, perhaps being aware at the great selling power their new IP possessed, had had the foresight to employ Eric Nylund to write The Fall of Reach, which told of the beginnings of Master Chief’s career as a soldier and of the destruction of REACH. The Fall of Reach went on to be a New York Times Bestseller, and the stage was set for a variety of Halo licensed media to continue the story outside of the games.
Continue reading Cross-Contaminated Media: Expanding Universes Outside Games
Even though they’re not my favorite games ever, I’m still a dork about anything related to the Halo universe, especially peripheral materials that explore other areas of the mythos. For some reason, Bungie hasn’t done a stellar job presenting their story within the confines of the game, but all of the extended media is an entirely different story.
That’s why I’m kind of excited about the Comic-Con announcement from today that reveals that Halo Legends, a Halo anime, is coming early next year to DVD and digital platforms. There aren’t a whole lot of details yet, but some pretty cool looking images. So far, all we know is that it’s going to be seven short films from the director of Appleseed Ex Machina, which I haven’t seen.
Anywho, does anyone else think this is kind of cool? Like I said, I’m not a huge Halo fanboy, but I really think it’s got a quality mythology behind it, and if the art is cool enough, this could be sweet. Thoughts?