08 June 2005

Master Cheif Is Here And He Has A Screenplay...

Hey guys, it's Donnie...and this is simply astounding. I'm sure you've all heard the old cliche story about the pizza delivery guy who hands out copies of his screenplay with your order and I can assure you that such things do, indeed, happen. While I was in LA, I saw not one, but TWO billboards put up by some guy trying to get NBC to buy his idea for a sitcom. Actors send strippers to casting directors in the hopes of scoring a job. But this....well....

Alex Garland (writer of The Beach and 28 Days Later) recently turned in his script for the big screen adaptation of Halo to the powers that be at Bungie and Microsoft. They were pretty happy with what they read and so they sent copies out to all the big studios looking for production financing. How did they send the script out, you ask? Fax? FedEx? Bike Messenger? Nope. Bungie and Microsoft had every copy of the script hand delivered...by a courier dressed like Master Cheif.

Yup. That's right.

Not only that, but apparantly Master Cheif is handing out some pretty strict stipulations along with these scripts: Microsoft and Bungie want $10 million up front against a 15% gross, and they want developmental control. They've already drawn up a "bible" of what material from the games can and cannot be used in a feature adaptation. Oh yeah, and they wanna start principal photography in six months.

Someone in Seattle has lost their marbles. Look, Halo is a great game and it's clearly begging to be put on the big silver screen, but no production company in their right mind would agree to demands like this, especially when the one doing the demanding is a guy in a plastic battle suit. DreamWorks and New Line have both passed and I say kudos to them. I'm sick of great film properties being rushed into production before they're ready to go. It's what happened to Fantastic Four, it's what's about to happen to X3, and apparantly Halo is next on the slab. Studios are so anxious to pump out their next blockbuster that they totally sacrifice quality and they end up with "Planet Of The Apes Syndrome": A huge opening weekend where everyone shows up, discovers that the movie sucks, and then nobody shows up to watch in the following weeks. Now you've got a pissed off fan base and a shitty film with no sequel possibilities. Don't you see studios? You're really just robbing yourself of future moneymaking opportunities! Patience is a virtue motherfuckers!

Ah well...


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