Spielberg appeared in a recorded segment during Microsoft’s Xbox One conference today to unveil the Halo TV series he’s working on. This isn’t the first time, nor likely the last, that a major Hollywood director has shown up at a Microsoft conference, which spells doom for whatever he’s doing going forward. The first to set off this disturbing trend? Steven Spielberg.
12 years ago at Microsoft’s E3 conference, the company announced that they would be developing three games (of six kept in secret) based on Spielberg’s film Artificial Intelligence. These games would be published by Microsoft exclusively for the Xbox console. The movie was the much-anticipated product of a partnership between him and the late Stanley Kubrick and starred then-golden child Haley Joel Osmond. It was a big deal. Then it came out. All six of those A.I. games? Vanished into thin air. Spielberg’s efforts years later to bring a pair of games to life via Electronic Arts resulted in the decently-successful Boom Blox games for the Wii and
Five years later, Peter Jackson would step on stage to discuss an even bigger arrangement. Not only would he executive produce a feature-length Halo movie, to be directed by South African commercial director Neil Blomkamp, but he would also establish Wingnut Interactive in a joint venture with Microsoft to make a non-shooter game for the series. When Microsoft decided that studios should pay for the movie in its entirety and assume all the risk, they balked and not only did the Halo movie fall through, but the game and studio did as well.
So that brings us to today, the third strike. Will this see the light of day? Forward Unto Dawn showed us that live-action Halo is real, but under Spielberg? Hard to say. I’m already getting that Halo fatigue…