Part 3: Quint and Peter Jackson talk HALO!!!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with Part 3 of 5 of my long interview with Peter Jackson. Part One focused on TEMERAIRE, the new fantasy series Jackson has optioned. Part Two focused on Jackson's next directorial film, THE LOVELY BONES. Click on the links to read those stories.
This one has us talking about HALO, the big budgeted live-action film based on one of the most popular video games of all time. I count myself as a big HALO fan and really can not wait to see Neill Blomkamp take a swing at directing this film. Below you'll find out why Peter chose an up and comer to helm the film, a little bit of his opinion on the rating and the current state of the script. As he has been throughout the interview, Peter's answers are very honest and upfront. Enjoy!!!
QUINT: Of the movies you're producing that are not your own, you seem to be bringing in first time feature directors. Both with HALO and DAMBUSTERS. Is that just coincidence?
PETER JACKSON: It's not deliberate and certainly for HALO it wasn't deliberate. I don't think even for a show like HALO, which is a big budget production, I don't think there's any problem whatsoever with a so-called first time director directing it. At the end of the day, Neill (Blomkamp) is not a first time director. He's a first time feature film director, but he understands film and grammar as good as anybody. He's done some wonderful short films and commercials. His visual eye is fantastic and his storytelling is great. The fact that it's a feature film just means that he gets to shoot for longer than he did in the short film. There really isn't anything else that's different.
We certainly didn't set out with HALO to find a first time filmmaker to do HALO. We wanted somebody on HALO that would have 3 qualities. One, a very important one, is that they wanted to do it really badly. They had to be absolute HALO fans. That was important because there are a lot of people who would be happy to do HALO for the paycheck, there's a lot of people who would be happy to do it for the publicity they're going to get from it and the kick it'll give to their career and all that and all of that sort of stuff. There's lots of reasons to do HALO that would be attractive if you're not a HALO fan, but we didn't want any of those people, we wanted somebody who was a real HALO fan.
Secondly, and this is sort of just as important, we wanted somebody who was going to bring a unique vision to it. It's so easy to shut your eyes and imagine a really bad version of HALO. That comes to you in a frightenly simple, quick way. You think, "Oh, my God! This could be so terrible!" I guess it's because so many other video game movies have been terrible and so much other sci-fi in that type of genre has been terrible.
It's like Fantasy was before LORD OF THE RINGS. Everybody was saying, "These films aren't any good." In a sense, everybody's saying "You can't make a good film out of a game." Well, that's all crap. Good films just need good characters, good storyline and a great director to bring it to life and make a film that you've never seen before. That's what it needs. It doesn't matter a damn whether it's based on a game, a book or a piece of chewing gum, you know? That's irrelevant. It's what actually ends up on the screen that's important.
So, we wanted a director who we would get excited about their version of HALO. We wanted somebody that would make us say, "God, I'd love to see what this person would do with this story, with this material." We considered a lot of directors. A lot of directors came to us. I mean, believe me... we waited for months and months and months. We eschewed a couple of people which didn't work out. We've had lots and lots of people approaching us, obviously agents and people saying "So and so client would love to do it."
At all times they were people that we thought, "Well... their version of HALO doesn't really excite me all that much. I could imagine what it'd be like and it doesn't really (excite me)." But then when Neill came along and we saw what he'd done and we'd spoken to him... believe me, he's doing something that is very, very different from what people are imagining, from what people have seen before. Some of the visuals... He's been working with Weta pretty much full time for, I guess it'd be about 2 months now, turning out lots and lots of art every day. And maquettes, production design, color art has been coming out of there. I've got folders and folders of it at home here. It's fantastic stuff. I mean, I look through it and I get excited about the film.
We're still developing a script and we've still got work to go on the script and that's underway, but while that's happening Neill is just producing his vision of this world. It is original and new and has not been seen before on the screen. It's not Ridley Scott, it's not James Cameron, it's not what we've seen before, but it's something new and fresh and it's cool. That was important to us. Someone who was going to not go the cliched way, but go in the direction that they had an original vision for and Neill has got that in spades. We're feeling really, really good.
QUINT: Let's talk a little bit about the script for HALO. Alex Garland's Microsoft draft wasn't very strong and I know after I read it I was worried, as a fan of HALO.
PETER JACKSON: Since Alex's draft, there have been another two that have been written. Pretty much page one revisions to get to where we are today. It's getting much better along now and there are certainly a lot of things in it now that are working well. There are things that aren't working well in it yet, but Fran, Philippa and I are not writing the script, but, in a sense, one of the things we're contributing with our involvement in the project is being the police, the script cops! So, nothing is going to end up on the screen that doesn't get our stamp of approval. We're going to be pretty tough with the script. We're not going to spare people's feelings.
We're not writing it and we're trying to be as constructive as we can and we're trying to give criticism and suggest ways in which we think things should be improved. That process is going along okay and we're getting there. The movie, as far as I'm concerned, as far as my involvement is concerned, is not going to go in front of the cameras until we have a really great script.
In the meantime Neill's fully occupied designing everything that needs to be designed. The whole world has to be designed and the whole world has to be built. There's nothing that's going to be hired out of a prop store, you know? And like LORD OF THE RINGS and KONG, it's one of those great (positions). We have time to work on the script because all the work that has to happen... we know what's going to be in the movie. We know that there's going to be the Covenant, we know that there's going to be Warthogs and there's going to be Ghosts (QUINT NOTE: Covenant ships, not spooks for you HALO virgins) and Scorpion (Tanks)'s and there's going to be the Pillar of Autumn. We know a huge amount.
We obviously know a lot of the world of HALO that the story's going to take part in. So, there's a lot of very productive work that's underway at the moment while the script takes whatever (amount of time). As far as I'm concerned it should take as long as it needs to take until it's a good script. We are slowly tugging away at it, getting it there.
QUINT: Now, there's no reason on Earth shouldn't easily and faithfully be adapted into a PG-13 movie. However, do you anticipate there being a harder cut considering how gruesome the Flood aspect of the story is?
PETER JACKSON: That's interesting... It's something, I must admit, that's not a conversation I've had with anybody yet. It's a conversation that I'm sure will happen. Look, the reality of the budget is that I would imagine the studio are going to be pretty insistent on a PG-13, which, as you say, is certainly not an impossible thing pull off. The concept of a hard R rating for DVD is kind of fun because that does ultimately deliver a film that the hardcore fans would enjoy and that's certainly something we should discuss. But honestly it's a conversation that hasn't actually happened yet.
But the designs for The Flood that I've been seeing are incredibly hardcore, I have to say. The wonderful thing of using the world of CG now and that real, Lovecraftian kind of twisted... That stuff lends itself to computer generated effects so well, the organic, pulsating, throbbing, oozing kind of effect looks great. I had a bit of fun with that on KONG with those sort of bug things and those insects and wormy things that kill Andy Serkis. I can see that tying all that CG technology to some Lovecraftian horror is going to be awesome.
But yeah. Look, I think it's a great idea. I think it's something we should definitely talk about. I mean, those conversations haven't happened yet since we haven't really got a script that we think is the script we're going to make yet, so I guess once we have a script the question of rating will come up. I think as long as the studio gets a PG-13 to release theatrically, I'd imagine they'd actually be supportive and certainly we can talk to them about supporting the idea of (a harder cut for DVD). I think Neill would be into it.
I, for one, would love to see a special adult version of HALO, maybe as part of a package after the initial DVD release. Gore and Carpenteresque monstrocities in abundance... Ah, the stuff geek dreams are made of! If you want more information on the HALO film, be sure to read my interview with director Neill Blomkamp by clicking here!!! Up tomorrow is Jackson geeking out over DAMBUSTERS, followed by his comments on THE HOBBIT! Talk to you soon!
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Sept. 14, 2006, 5:38 a.m. CST
...and I hope this is better than "Doom."
Sept. 14, 2006, 8:06 a.m. CST
...why you can't post all of your fucking interview at once, Quint! I don't give a shit about Halo.
Sept. 14, 2006, 8:15 a.m. CST
Sept. 14, 2006, 8:33 a.m. CST
for the script to be right. The first game was ok, loved the second. I just hope they do take their time, if they do then I don't see why they won't have a really great movie on thier hands. It would be pretty cool if they had an R rated version. Actually, I would prefer the R over the PG-13.
Sept. 14, 2006, 8:41 a.m. CST
by Talkbacker with no name
I'm hoping we learn something new, quint! You better not be just suckering me in :)...I'm more into the idea of Halo after what Peter said about "Lovecraftian horror". Sounds very interesting! P13 would be fine. you can get away with a lot these days.
Sept. 14, 2006, 8:42 a.m. CST
Everyone has the best intentions yet the buck stops with what the studio want. And the studio will want a pg13 (UK 12) rated film to be delivered exactly when the Halo3 game ships. Visions will be dropped in favour of deadlines, the 3rd act will be flashy but rushed and the whole thing will stink of unkept promises.
Sept. 14, 2006, 8:46 a.m. CST
by THE KNIGHT
not much on Halo ehh... I'm not too familiar with halo but it seems like the team is well in place and i love his statements about the director... they're risk takers and that's always appreciated...
Sept. 14, 2006, 8:47 a.m. CST
by Talkbacker with no name
It's cool it's in parts. I'm really enjoying reading one each day with a cup of coffee in the morning.
Sept. 14, 2006, 9:25 a.m. CST
Frodo gets his ass handed to him by Master Chief at the end of a Plasma Rifle
Sept. 14, 2006, 9:26 a.m. CST
Is what we're all waiting for. Quint knows it. So he's dragging it out. Making us wait. Chortling as he holds his clenched fists skyward, reveling in his absolute fanboy power. We all know it.
Sept. 14, 2006, 9:33 a.m. CST
Much of the story and attraction of HALO has been the unanswered questions. This has led to some quite creative story elements that are just grazed upon in the games and hinted at in the novels. HALO is more than a game, but an entire universe based on "Hard core" science fiction themes going back to influences by Issac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. But then again it doesn't surprise me most talkbackers don't know this. I would even say that most of the people who have even played HALO don't know many of these back story plot points going all the way back to the Marathon series of games. "It doesn't matter a damn whether it's based on a game, a book or a piece of chewing gum, you know? That's irrelevant. It's what actually ends up on the screen that's important." Bravo, Mr. Jackson.
Sept. 14, 2006, 9:39 a.m. CST
by Trevor Goodchild
Having never read the Hobbit can someone give a summary of what kind of visions, scenes and setpieces to look forward to?
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:05 a.m. CST
It was actually second-hand information from his pet cat Mittens. And my online film site ScoopPoop.com had the story first. Which we copied from you :)
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:07 a.m. CST
Would love to see thar done properly.
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:14 a.m. CST
Leaving the only news anyone cares about until the end (THE HOBBIT) which will turn out as non-news anyway as there hasn't been any movement on it (and if there was, it would be all over the internet, not held at will and doled out by AICN)
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:16 a.m. CST
But, they better not show his face. On another note, I don't see why a PG-13 would be so bad for this flick? Some alien violence, the occasional F-bomb, and some freaky lookin' flood. Hell, LOTR had enough violence to keep me satisfied, and it didn't need an R. As long as it has the FEEL of Halo, I'll be happy.
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:16 a.m. CST
Happy to oblige. I just finished reading the Hobbit to my daughter, so the story is fairly fresh in my mind. And I'm just in the mood to waste some time on the talkback... First off, I must say that it is really a Lord of the Rings light. When Tolkien wrote this het was clearly not in the same 'world-building-mode' he was in when he composed his epic LOTR, and LOTR is in many ways a reworked Hobbit. Many times you feel he just makes stuff up as he goes along. Which is fine, of course. But if you thought LOTR was a bit meandering at times you haven't read the Hobbit :-) MAYOR SPOILER SHOULD YOU NOT WANT TO KNOW THE PLOT OF THE HOBBIT!! A hobbit called Bilbo is visited by a wizard (Gandalf) who introduces him to a group of dwarves (or is it dwarfs?). They offer him a contract to join them on a quest (another quest? yes) to a mountain (yep, another mountain). The mountain was once a great city of dwarves, until the dragon Smaug drove them out and took possession of their treasures. Stuff that's bound to be in the movie: - the run in with the 3 trolls (as this is mentioned in LOTR) - the crossing of the orc-infested mountains, where Bilbo gets separated, meets Gollum and gets 'the Ring' - Wargs and orcs cornering the companionship up in a tree; getting rescued by eagles - large forest crossing with: - Bilbo climbing to watch above the canopy of the endless forest - a beautiful image, bound to be in the movie - large spiders (not Shelob large, but more of them) - slightly dubious wood-elves and an escape from the elven city via barrels in a river - a human city build poles on a lake - the mountain with the dragon - the fight to slay the dragon - the big end-battle between just about everybody I mentioned before (minus the dragon) over the treasure - Bilbo returning home Sounds familiar? Can't wait to see it on the big screen, craftily pruned and tuned by Jackson into a sharp, concise story I assume it is by now obvious that I prefer the movies by far over the longwinded version by Tolkien - which I liked enough to reread several times over the years. But I learned to read the poems and landscape descriptions diagonally.
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:23 a.m. CST
of a character, just a cheesy tough talking douche in a suit. Basing a movie around that will probably not end well.
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:28 a.m. CST
They better improve that shit quick or the Flood will look like ass.
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:32 a.m. CST
by Bob of the Shire
Wii = $250 in the US, comes with Wii Sports. Launches on November 19th with Zelda and some other shit. 30 VC games at launch, 60 by the end of the year, they plan on releasing 10 VC games every week until the end of 2007. VC game prices: $5 - NES, $8 - SNES, $10 - N64. MSX, PCI, and Genesis game prices unknown. Tons of new footage, including a scene from Zelda where he's riding a motherfucking dragon!!!
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:36 a.m. CST
that would make a good movie
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:46 a.m. CST
None come to mind.
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:57 a.m. CST
Great potential. I don't care what anyone else says. Jackson is right, mentioning the inspiration for a motion picture. It really doesn't matter where the inspiration comes from. What matters, folks, ...is what happens on the screen. And this sounds like an event picture!
Sept. 14, 2006, 11:21 a.m. CST
I hope he's not trying to steal my idea for Bazooka Joe: The Movie!
Sept. 14, 2006, 11:32 a.m. CST
Sept. 14, 2006, 11:36 a.m. CST
by Optimus Murphy
Peter Jackson vs. Don Murphy. Who do you trust with your franchise? Is R even a rating anymore? I mean if the movie doesn't show Sharon Stone's tired twat?
Sept. 14, 2006, 11:48 a.m. CST
by Trevor Goodchild
Filming this seems a little unessassary .
Sept. 14, 2006, 11:54 a.m. CST
teasing us with this Hobbit info day after day. spill it, man! spill it!
Sept. 14, 2006, 11:59 a.m. CST
recommending that a special feature of this or a special version of that make it on the DVD special features? How bout them just concentrating on them making a good bloody movie?
Sept. 14, 2006, 12:14 p.m. CST
Burton did that already, sort of. Mars Attacks was based on bubblegum cards. Also, I hope they make the Halo AI chick less irritating in the movie. I wanted to not do stuff in that game just to spite her.
Sept. 14, 2006, 12:31 p.m. CST
Didn't he already say in another article that all PJ has said about it is that he surprisingly hasn't been approached by either MGM or New Line to do The Hobbit, even though MGM has recently stated that they are planning on doing The Hobbit with PJ?
Sept. 14, 2006, 12:34 p.m. CST
...ever heard of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy? yea they were definetly PG13 and had their fare share of beheadings and such, far from a squeeky clean movie. I have faith that Jackson can push it all the way to the edge with the rating.
Sept. 14, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST
I haven't been approached yet, although I'd love to do it. He always says that. For all this suspense though, Quint better have something more substantial!
Sept. 14, 2006, 1:44 p.m. CST
Guillermo directs, WETA gets to do the Lovecraftian imagery. Best movie ever made. Except it doesn't seem likely to get made.
Sept. 14, 2006, 2:45 p.m. CST
by Gil Brooks
j/k! Ron Wells- where's your proof you talked about yesterday?
Sept. 14, 2006, 4:05 p.m. CST
i sure wish you guys would do some of these interviews as a podcast.
Sept. 14, 2006, 5:02 p.m. CST
PJ and Co. have a real opportunity to make an actual sci-fi military movie, and I've read elsewhere that the HALO movie is intended to be just that. You don't need lots of blood and icky gore in order to make it work - it's really more of an overall tone. Aliens is certainly the closest movie to come to nailing the genre, though Starship Troopers sort of laughed its way through the same obstacle course.
Sept. 14, 2006, 5:49 p.m. CST
The game WOULD make a great movie. So, pray for HALO to be great and make money and every studio around will go searching for a futuristic space-movie game and before you know it, Half-Life 2. Tada!
Sept. 14, 2006, 6:18 p.m. CST
we'll never see ringworld. james cameron almost made it.
Sept. 14, 2006, 6:29 p.m. CST
He's just stretching it out over 5 parts, that's all. He's not enticing us with anything because we already know there's nothing there. If MGM wants to push for The Hobbit to shoot in 2007 you can forget Peter directing it, he's got a lot of shit on his plate at the moment, all the projects mentioned in this 5-part behemoth. His priorities are The Lovely Bones and trying to stop Halo turning into a piece of shit. Then he's got the new fantasy trilogy to deal with. If he did the Hobbit it would take two years. There's no way he's waiting over two years to start on the Temeraire trilogy.
Sept. 14, 2006, 6:40 p.m. CST
yeah that shit looks hot.
Sept. 14, 2006, 6:41 p.m. CST
"It's like Fantasy was before LORD OF THE RINGS. Everybody was saying, "These films aren't any good." Shut the fuck up, anyone can make a damn movie off of Lord of the Rings with the budget he had. Get off your fucking high horse Peter Jackson.
Sept. 14, 2006, 7:19 p.m. CST
Just because a movie has a big budget, doesn't mean it's going to be automatically great. "Waterworld", anyone?
Sept. 14, 2006, 7:22 p.m. CST
by gray gorilla
please no peter, dont BAYterize halo. Halo is LOTR in space, so much backstory. There's so much yet to be revealed in Halo 3 next year that I can't understand how they could write a script...unless theyve gotten a sneak preview from Bungie. I bet PJ is blasting away G3 covenant as we speak on his Haradrim-skinned 360.
Sept. 14, 2006, 7:38 p.m. CST
Hey guys. I just wanted to say that the interview itself was long. Word count had it pushing 20,000 words. I would have had to break it up into 3 or 4 articles anyway and it just made more sense to break it up in pieces related to the movies Jackson's attached to. By stretching them out, I've been able to let each part live a little bit on its own, instead of jumbling them all together. As far as the Hobbit stuff, you're right. There's no late breaking Oh My God news there, but what there is is an insight to Jackson's thoughts on the possibility of the movie. He didn't seem to know himself one way or the other, so you won't get an answer, but what you will get is him talking for more than a paragraph on why he'd want to do it and why he might not do it. I think it's interesting reading and well worth the wait. It's only two more days, afterall.
Sept. 14, 2006, 7:54 p.m. CST
by gray gorilla
you just cost Harry about 50% of his traffic for the next 2 days...
Sept. 14, 2006, 9:11 p.m. CST
I'm really unclear in my mind exactly what quality they were looking for in a director. The first thing they looked for was that he had to really, really like the game HALO? How does being a gaming fanboy qualify you as a director? Now, I can imagine a director who makes cool commercials and shorts would be a good choice for a director, but look how Jackson describes him. He says the guy had a "unique vision" for Halo, but he's pretty inarticulate as to what that might be. Jackson then goes to to illustrate this "unique vision" by saying that Neil has been working with WETA for two months "turning out stuff". WTF? Is he an artist, or a designer? Or is he just a rubber stamp for WETA designs? "Ooh, that one's nice ... er, yes, Mr. WETA artist, the way that one squirms is very cool". What is he DOING that's so cool and helpful? Did Neill bring in artists of his own, that he liked, or was he stuck with the ones that had been pre-chosen for him? Did he get to hand pick which CGI artists would be supporting HIS version of Halo, or is he just a bag on the side of the WETA CGI monster-fest? And listen to what he says ... "The wonderful thing of using the world of CG now and that real, Lovecraftian kind of twisted... That stuff lends itself to computer generated effects so well, the organic, pulsating, throbbing, oozing kind of effect looks great. I had a bit of fun with that on KONG with those sort of bug things and those insects and wormy things that kill Andy Serkis. I can see that tying all that CG technology to some Lovecraftian horror is going to be awesome." ... Where is Neill's "unique vision" in this? This sounds like Jackson's vision. The project has been selected because it fits a kind of effect that WETA already does, and that JACKSON wants ... toothy worm designs. It's working backwards from WETA's studio, not working forwards from a good story. Notice how Neill's "vision" doesn't seem to be connected to the script? That seems to be going on independently of Neill, who is hanging out with the CGI artists. All this pre-production is going on, and the script isn't "really great" yet? They don't have a really great script, but they've hired a director and are pumping out pre-production art. Sounds like what happened with Lord of the Rings ... Jackson admitted on the Extended DVD commentaries that the script could have used a couple more revisions for the second and third movies. Note that he says he won't put the movie in front of a screen until it has a really great script...THAT MEANS HE DOESN't HAVE ONE. And how is the movie going to be sold? With artwork and CGI demos, just as LOTR was sold with a WETA CGI battle scene (according to Jackson). This movie is going to be sold the same way, and made whether or not the script actually is good. Script, story, is the last thing on Mr. Jackson's mind ... as long as the movie has cool toothy worms in it wiggling about and eating people, that's all Jackson cares about. Well, good luck with another video game movie, directed by a for-hire fanboy and indulging the taste of a zombie-movie producer. Nobody who saw KING KONG can believe Jackson's sincerity about waiting for a good script before starting filming.
Sept. 14, 2006, 9:22 p.m. CST
by Coyote Joe
That's right, the first Japanese actor to play both Jesus Christ and Jean Valjean. This is the only part of the 20,000 word interview that I gave a crap about, anyway. But way to go, Quint, for hanging in there through all the boring crap I didn't read.
Sept. 14, 2006, 9:45 p.m. CST
Cant believe you actually typed up that stupid little rant. The way you so outrageously jump to negative conclusions based on Jackson's comments... man, I love it. It's like you think what Jackson says is the entirety of whats going on with Halo. And then you try to use your stupid conclusions (I mean, come on... do you honestly believe any of that crap? It's total guesswork) to prove a point and... man, I love talkbackers sometimes. Hehe. Jackass.
Sept. 14, 2006, 10:49 p.m. CST
Cos it's another WETA demo-reel, that's why.
Sept. 14, 2006, 11:22 p.m. CST
... is kinda moronic. Lord of the Rings isn't just a fantasy film. It's practically the fantasy story that almost all written fantasy today borrows from. Jackson being relatively faithful to what was written, and having a gigantic book-based audience who were going to see it no matter what (Bakshi's version, as unfinished as it was, was a financial success) is what made Jackson's LOTR a success. As Jackson says, it's the story that matters. And he also says ...HE DOESN'T HAVE ONE. What's he going to do, dig Tolkien up to write the Halo script?
Sept. 15, 2006, 12:56 a.m. CST
...But we HAVE had plenty of decent PG-13 movies that have been quite adult - the Bourne movies, etc. If anyone can make a fantastic movie from a video game, Peter Jackson can!
Sept. 15, 2006, 2:32 a.m. CST
Just to sum it up: yes, Half-Life (2) is a better game than Halo. But Halo is a better STORY than Half-Life. Disregarding the moment-to-moment stuff that Valve does so well, Half-Life is a mess storywise (overall). Halo, on the other hand has more than TEN YEARS and, what, six or so? games' worth of story for the filmmakers to work with (yes, CENOBITE, some of us know about the whole thing). It is pretty much like Lord of the Rings - no wonder Jackson is so worked up about it. Bear in mind I vastly prefer playing Half-Life, but GAMES are about GAMEPLAY, and MOVIES are about STORY!
Sept. 15, 2006, 2:39 a.m. CST
Give me a break with the CG hate! What is it with fanboys that think CGI is the root of all evil? What, you want matte lines around everything? Stop-motion monsters? Or man-in-suit, maybe? Massive space battles between three maquettes, with the lasers drawn by hand? Bullshit. I know it's hard for you man-children to comprehend, but there's such a thing as progress. Look it up. I shouldn't get worked up about it, but idiots like those really tick me off.
Sept. 15, 2006, 2:44 a.m. CST
It's a movie. You can't just plop the game models on the set and pray everything works. In a massive sci-fi production like this, everything has to be planned in advance. EVERYTHING. Hence the designs. Not REDESIGNS, DESIGNS! Every inch of the screen has to be thought of. Lighting? You know what lighting is, right? That thing that movies depend on? That Halo 1 practically didn't even HAVE? Christ, use those things that pass for your brains!
Sept. 15, 2006, 3:51 a.m. CST
I could be wrong, but the impression I got was that Blomkamp wasn't radically redesigning the look of the game for the film, just trying to find a way to pull those designs into reality and make it something that'll work for a feature film.
Sept. 15, 2006, 8:42 a.m. CST
What he said.
Sept. 16, 2006, 11:54 p.m. CST
Jackson had one of the greatest stories of all-time to work off of, a comparison to Waterworld is laughable.
Sept. 23, 2006, 8:52 p.m. CST
They're the whole story. If you don't like them, the movie's dead. If they cast Diesel or Van Damme, it's over.
Oct. 11, 2007, 9:10 p.m. CST
Although a movie like Halo necessitates some CGI, I imagine that WETA is going to work as much through actual sets, props, and "big"atures as possible. Any CG element must be worked over and over painstakingly to succeed on a level where the viewer won't see it on screen and recognize it immediately as CG - therefore fake. Overuse of CGI sets, objects, and characters can damage the suspension of disbelief that an audience must engage in to "believe" in the film. This is one of the reasons that Gollum succeeds as a realistic CGI character while Jar Jar Binks and Yoda tend to fail. Also, a script is something that gets worked and reworked sometimes even during and after filming, so just because Peter says that it isn't ready yet does not mean they have "no story." The Lord of the Rings movie script was not written by Tolkien, just the source material. The Halo universe has a lot of material to draw from between the games and books - not as much written material as Lord of the Rings, but certainly enough to write a rich script based on a rich setting. Budget does not determine movie quality. Lord of the Rings was not made good by a massive budget, it was made good by a love of the source material and by painstaking care and attention when it came to every aspect of the film. This is one reason I am happy to hear Mr. Jackson say that they took the time to get a director who is a Halo fan. A genuine fan of the material will take the necessary time and effort to at least TRY to make a movie live up to their imagination and expectations. Lastly, I don't think that the film needs an "R" rating to accurately portray the Flood. Pirates of the Carribean, after all, manages to show a great deal of dead, undead, and disturbingly disgusting characters without slipping beyond PG13. That said, I realize that the Flood are more suitable to a horror setting and that the type of violence in Halo may necessitate pushing the very edge of what will be acceptable by a PG13 rating.
Oct. 4, 2010, 9:35 a.m. CST
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