Microsoft has officially announced that they will be developing a new live-action Halo Web series that will be launched before Halo 4 hit stores this fall. We might not be getting a live action Halo movie anytime soon, but Microsoft hopes this new series will revive big screen interest in the property.
The series will be called Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, and there's a ton of money being pumped into it. Microsoft revealed that this is the "the largest investment" they've ever made in a live-action project to date. It will play exclusively on the entertainment website Machinima and at the online community Halo Waypoint. It will play out over five weekly installments, and each episode will be around 15 minutes long.
There aren't many details that have been revealed on the project, but there will be a big announcement revealed at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. They did say that it will tell an "original story about the game's Master Chief and how he inspired a young UNSC cadet who will eventually become a leader aboard the UNSC Infinity spacecraft." They go on to say that the "introduction of the new character will tie in with the plot of Halo 4, while providing a flashback to the beginning of the Halo franchise's war between the humans and the evil Covenant."
Matt McCloskey, director of franchise business management at 343 Industries, explained the purpose of the new series. "Microsoft wants to use the "Halo 4" Web series as a way "to make 'Halo' accessible for people who haven't played the games. We wanted to do something unique from a narrative standpoint that's big in scale."
The demand for this web-series spawned from the awesomeness of the live-action Halo commercials that have been released over the years. Some of these commercials have been directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9) and Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman). It's great for the fans that they are going to explore this universe even further, but they didn't want this series to just appeal to the hardcore fans. Frank O'Connor, franchise development director at 343 Industries had this to say,
Playing the games and reading the books or other "Halo" spinoffs is "a big commitment. "We needed a way to ensure there was a way for people to get onboard this universe without feeling intimidated." As a result, the Web series is "an origins story that teaches you about a lot of different facets of the ('Halo') universe."
This web series is the next step for the Halo franchise, and they hope that it will eventually lead to developing a feature film adaptation, of the franchise which is what we've all been waiting for! McCloskey added, "I don't think anybody needs any reminding of (the potential). Everyone keeps reminding us of that." He then concludes by saying this is "not just a marketing piece to promote the game. We wanted to go way beyond that and transform this live-action exploration from advertising into a full standalone product that people will enjoy."
As a hardcore fan of Halo, I'm excited as hell to see what they have in store for us! I hope it turns out as epic as they make it sound.