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Microsoft goes Hollywood with 'Halo' film deal

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Microsoft has a new deal with Hollywood and, no, it's not to use Windows digital rights management (DRM) capabilities to prevent illegal copying of films.

Microsoft's popular Halo Xbox game is going from the TV screen to the big screen, after two studios agreed to produce a film featuring the game's cyborg hero Master Chief. The film is slated to appear in the summer of 2007.

Halo is the latest computer game, or game character, to be picked up by Hollywood, following Final Fantasy, Resident Evil and Lara Croft.

Microsoft has apparently been shopping the idea around Hollywood for a Halo movie for some time now, having gone as far as to develop its own draft script. The draft, an attempt by Microsoft to retain control over the Halo franchise and no doubt develop all those juicy game-related tie in's in the inevitable Halo 3, was written by Alex Garland who penned The Beach and 28 Days Later.

Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox are reported to have agreed to pay Microsoft $5m plus a percentage of ticket sales capped at 10 per cent of the domestic box office. They reportedly haggled Microsoft down from $15m plus 15 per cent.

The film's producer is Columbia Pictures' former president Peter Schlessel, who captained Spiderman, Charlie's Angels 2 and Something's Gotta Give

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