'Halo' film production delayed

Plans to produce Microsoft's video game "Halo" as a feature film, have stumbled with Universal and Fox.

The deal fell apart after both studios asked the movie's would-be producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh to "significantly reduce their deals," according to Ken Kamins, the representative for both producers, in an interview with Variety.

Microsoft concurred with Kamins characterization of the situation.

"We are disappointed that Universal wanted to significantly renegotiate the financial points of the deal. But the 'Halo' franchise is hugely popular and our goal remains the same--to find a partner that shares our passion and will creatively collaborate with us to best represent the story and spirit of the 'Halo' franchise," a Microsoft representative wrote in an e-mail. "Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and the rest of the creative team are dedicated to ensuring the Halo movie becomes a reality. We are already in discussions with potential partners who recognize the value of the Halo brand and its appeal to consumers worldwide."

Jackson, the famed New Zealand director, and Walsh are best known for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Microsoft announced in September that it was forming Wingnut Interactive, a game studio with Jackson.

Universal and Fox were going to be co-financers of the estimated $145 million "Halo" film, with Microsoft getting $5 million upfront and 10 percent of the gross for the rights to the game.

In consultation with Microsoft, the two producers "respectfully declined" and Microsoft is already in talks with other partners, Kamins told Variety.

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