Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn to be the first Halo movie, Details inside
The Halo franchise is Microsoft’s biggest blockbuster video game. It’s been put into novels, trading cards, comics, animated movies and of course, more video games. After selling 42 million copies worldwide, Microsoft is looking to aim bigger with the release of the next Halo 4 from 343 Industries.
Microsoft has worked on producing a web series called Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn – a five episode series that will premiere this October ahead of the Halo 4 video game release. All of these 5 segments will then be put together with another 15 minutes of footage which will then be made in a 90 minute feature film. Industry insiders believe that the company has spent anywhere between $5 million to $10 million in the making of this web series. They’ve also not had any assistance from any movie studio.
At Comic-Con in San Diego this year, Microsoft is going to announce Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn with a preview to all the attendees during a panel on Thursday.
The series was shot over five weeks in Vacouver and follows the prequel story narrating the first invasion by the alien forces of the Covenant. The web series follows the story of a young recruit trainee in a military academy who will appear in Halo 4 and other upcoming titles.
The cast includes artists who have worked in movies like Footloose, Supernatural, The Chronicles of Narnia and more. An Australian actor, Tom Green plays the lead in the movie while Daniel Cudmore, known for his Colossus in X-Men, is to play the part of Master Chief. The movie is being directed by Stewart Hendler who is well known for his movies Sorority Row and the science fiction webseries H+.
Talking to Ben Fritz from LA Times, he said, “I wanted to bring a sense of reality and gravity to the world. Everything from the performances to the aesthetics should be tethered to a sense of authenticity and grittiness.”
With the webseries, Microsoft is letting the Halo franchise tell stories that is typically not possible by a game, by virtue of being a video game, cannot. The webseries can open to many other avenues that Microsoft will probably be glad to look into.
Ubisoft is another company that has worked with in-house talent to build it’s own webseries for the Assassin’s Creed franchise. They’ve recently also recruited Michael Fassbender, star from X-Men: First Class, to play the lead in it’s next Assassin’s Creed movie. No assistance from a studio whatsoever.
Microsoft has licensed 343 Industries content to Machinima. On YouTube, the Machinima channel will be the only place to watch the Forward unto Dawn webseries. The full Halo movie will be bundled with the Halo 4 game on it’s Limited Edition copies.
“One of the things we’re trying to do is reach new audiences,” said 343 franchise development director Frank O’Connor. “If Mom watches, she’ll completely understand it.”
Check out Microsoft’s video teaser of the Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.