Film maker Peter Jackson says that preliminary work and script doctoring on the Halo film he's executive-producing is going well, and he's got nothing but admiration for young director Neill Blomkamp, despite his relative lack of feature experience.
Speaking to Ain't It Cool News, Jackson said that Blomkamp has been working closely with Weta for about two months while he concentrates on the work going into Alex Garland's original script.
"It's getting much better along now and there are certainly a lot of things in it now that are working well," he says of the script. "There are things that aren't working well in it yet, but Fran, Philippa and I are not writing the script, but, in a sense, one of the things we're contributing with our involvement in the project is being the police, the script cops! So, nothing is going to end up on the screen that doesn't get our stamp of approval."
Meanwhile, he's confident of Blomkamp's ability and his unique vision of how a Halo film should work. "It is original and new and has not been seen before on the screen," he says. "It's not Ridley Scott, it's not James Cameron, it's not what we've seen before, but it's something new and fresh, and it's cool."
"Believe me, he's doing something that is very, very different from what people are imagining, from what people have seen before. Some of the visuals... He's been working with Weta pretty much full time for, I guess it'd be about two months now, turning out lots and lots of art every day. And maquettes, production design, colour art has been coming out of there. I've got folders and folders of it at home here. It's fantastic stuff. I mean, I look through it and I get excited about the film," he insisted.
As for the stigma attached to game to film adaptations, Jackson's having none of it. "It's like Fantasy was before Lord of the Rings. Everybody was saying, 'These films aren't any good.' In a sense, everybody's saying, 'You can't make a good film out of a game.' Well, that's all crap," he declared. "Good films just need good characters, good storyline and a great director to bring it to life and make a film that you've never seen before. That's what it needs. It doesn't matter a damn whether it's based on a game, a book or a piece of chewing gum, you know? That's irrelevant. It's what actually ends up on the screen that's important."
As for what's actually going into it, we've already heard something from Blomkamp on the matter, but Jackson added to the build-up with a bit of name-dropping. "We know that there's going to be the Covenant, we know that there's going to be Warthogs, Ghosts and Scorpions, and there's going to be the Pillar of Autumn," he told AICN.
The Halo film is due out in the summer of 2008.