No 'Halo' effect for Jackson's salary

'Halo' film debacle between Microsoft, Jackson, Universal and Fox

What's this? A pay dispute in Hollywood? As unbelievable as it might seem, plans to produce Microsoft's video game "Halo" as a feature film with Fox and Universal have fallen through over--of all things--money.

Universal, on behalf of both studios, apparently asked would-be producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh to take a pay cut to curb production costs already estimated at $145 million, according to their representative Ken Kamins, in a Variety interview. Microsoft pretty much agreed with Kamins' characterization, and said in a statement on "Halo" that it is already in talks with other people happy to make the much-anticipated movie with the famed New Zealand director of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Before the fallout, Microsoft had a deal to get $5 million upfront and 10 percent of the gross from Universal and Fox in exchange for the rights to the game.

We're with you, Peter. Taking a pay cut as your compatriot Donaldson did for a film about New Zealander Burt Munro we can see, but settling for less money for a movie based on a video game? I'm sure Microsoft will find some tech producer willing to chalk up the investment for an obvious blockbuster.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet,, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.


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