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October 31, 2006

Halo postponed until the money comes in

Posted by Kim Peterson at 12:05 PM

Microsoft and its film partners have postponed a movie based on the "Halo" video-game series -- an effort that was the company's most ambitious foray into Hollywood to date.

The announcement comes two weeks after the film lost support from Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox, who backed out of an agreement to fund the deal. Microsoft said in a statement that it postponed the movie because it wants to bring "a first-class film to the big screen." The company said that though it will take longer now to make the movie, the final film will be "well worth the wait."

Microsoft had said that it was looking for new backers for the project, and Variety reported last week that the company was talking to Warner Bros. and Paramount, as well as some private investors. One could guess that those talks didn't lead to anything, given the announcement today.

Variety also said that Universal and Fox had originally given the movie a $128 million budget, allowing Microsoft and the producers to collectively gross about 19 percent of the profits. That's a lot of take, especially for a movie with no star power and a first-time director, according to Variety.

The film's script has gone through some serious tinkering and is up for a second rewrite, Variety reported.

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