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Peter Jackson to produce Halo movie in Wellington

Oct. 5, 2005

Peter Jackson to produce Halo movie in Wellington

Microsoft’s most popular game comes to the big screen - and will be filmed in New Zealand

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Oct. 5, 2005 - Triple-Academy Award® winners Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh have been signed as executive producers of Halo®, the forthcoming feature film based on Microsoft’s hugely popular game for Xbox and Windows PC.

The movie will be filmed in Wellington, with the pair providing creative counsel on all aspects of the film through WingNut Films. It will make use of the team’s award-winning production and post-production facilities, including Weta Digital Ltd, Weta Workshop Ltd, Stone Street Studios and Park Road Post, to create the mind-blowing creatures, miniatures and effects Jackson and Walsh are famous for.

Peter Jackson, a gaming fan, said: “I’m excited to bring Halo’s premise, action and settings to the screen with all the specificity and reality today’s technology can provide. I’m a huge fan of the game and look forward to helping it come alive on the cinema screen.”

Jackson’s involvement isn’t the only Kiwi connection to the game, however. One of Halo’s developers is Bungie Studios’ Chris Butcher, who grew up in Kakanui, a small town just outside of Oamaru.

Microsoft New Zealand product marketing manager Tom Hunt, said: “This is an incredible announcement, both for Xbox and for New Zealand. Halo is the most popular game on Xbox and has a massive local following, and the character Master Chief has become a cult figure.

“We can’t wait to see the game brought to life on the big screen, and we can’t imagine anyone better placed to do this than the legendary team of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh.”

Pre-production on Halo will start immediately, with shooting due to begin in May 2006. The film is scheduled to be released by Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox studios in mid-2007. Acclaimed UK novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later) wrote the original feature film adaptation, and a director is to be announced shortly.

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are currently in post-production on Universal Pictures’ King Kong, to be released in December. The console game based on the movie, available on Xbox, is due to be released next month.

About Xbox and Xbox 360

Microsoft revolutionized the gaming industry with the November 2001 launch of Xbox (http://www.xbox.com), its first-generation video games and entertainment system, now sold in 26 countries around the world. This holiday season Microsoft debuts its next-generation system, Xbox 360, in Europe, Japan and North America, to be followed by availability in Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan in 2006. Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com/xbox360) is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming service, and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around you.

About Bungie Studios
Bungie Studios was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve its real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it has produced games such as the Marathon Trilogy and the first two Myth games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. Released in 2001, Halo: Combat Evolved has achieved phenomenal success on the Microsoft® Xbox video game system and is also available for the PC. More information on Bungie can be found at http://www.bungie.net/.


Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Halo and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

ENDS

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