Fox and Universal have closed their deal to make a movie based on Microsoft's hit video game Halo, with plans to release it in 2007, Variety reported. Universal will oversee the production and is handling domestic distribution, while Fox will take foreign distribution. The studios will split revenues 50-50 out of a shared pot, the trade paper reported.
Former Columbia president Peter Schlessel, who served as a Hollywood liaison for Microsoft, is producing. 28 Days Later writer Alex Garland was paid $1 million by Microsoft to write a script that met its approval. He'll now do a rewrite with studio notes, after which Universal will go out to directors.
Microsoft is guaranteed extensive consultation on the project, but won't have approval over any elements. Several employees at Bungie, the Microsoft-owned development studio that created Halo, will serve as Microsoft's creative consultants.