Microsoft's terms included $10 million against 15 percent of the box office gross, a budget of at least $75 million and fast-tracked production, as well as creative approval over the director, regular flights from Seattle to L.A. to review post-production footage and 60 first-class plane tickets for Microsoft personnel and guests to attend the premiere, all at the expense of whichever studio picked up the script. Not even Harry Potter was getting this level of concessions, Larry Shapiro of Hollywood talent agency CAA says.
"What the games industry doesn't understand is that this town is all about lunch," Shapiro tells Russel. "It doesn't happen like that in the games industry. If there was a movie studio going out to the games publishers to license Avatar or something like that, they'd say 'Ok we're licensing Avatar, send us your best deal.' But none of the games publishers would talk to each other and say 'Hey, what are you going to offer them?'"
Fox and Universal teamed up on Microsoft and stripped its bargaining power. Peter Jackson, who Microsoft wanted to direct the film, signed on as a producer and sent in his young
Blomkamp's early footage, featuring costumes from Jackson's Weta Workshop, was pieced together as a promo for Halo 3, and after a $12 million investment from Universal, the rest of the movie deal fell apart because Microsoft wouldn't budge on any money issues. Check out Blomkamp's short films here, and imagine what Halo on the silver screen could have been.