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Peter Jackson to appear on Halo movie credits

More for the poster than the creative input?

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Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has been named as one of the upcoming Halo movie's Executive Producers. So has his missus, LoTR co-scriptwriter Fran Walsh.

Halo fanboys and LoTR buffs are now viewing the proposition much more enthusiastically, which was surely Microsoft's intention.

The software giant also announced that Jackson's Weta Studios, and its subsidiaries Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, would work on the movie. Indeed, it's that deal that almost certainly led to Jackson's Executive Producership.

The assumption is - and Microsoft is understandably doing nothing to suggest otherwise - that Jackson will have some creative input and/or oversight of the project, but in reality Executive Producerships are usually credits assigned as a way of getting individuals better financial deals.

Jackson's name on the credits, we reckon, is more about allowing Microsoft and partner 20th Century Fox to splash "from the director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy" all over the movie poster than anything else. Given what Jackson did to the Two Towers, Halo purists might prefer it if he left well alone.

In any case, Jackson is busy finishing King Kong right now, in order to get it in cinemas in December.

The Halo movie is due out in 2007, though as yet no cast or crew - beyond Jackson and Walsh, and scriptwriter Alex The Beach Garland - have been announced.

Unlike most if not all other computer and video games, Halo at least has a decent plot, which should translate nicely to the big screen, unlike, say, the upcoming Doom flick or the two Tomb Raiders.

Halo harks backs to Bungie's Marathon series, which managed to bring explorations of history, religion, metaphysics, identity, death and reincarnation, and artificial and non-artificial intelligence into the realm of first-person shooters. Few games have even attempted to tackle such concepts, let alone do so successfully.

Halo's storyline, while above par, doesn't have quite the same depth. But there could be enough there to lift it above all the other game-to-screen translations. Given Hollywood's record, however, it's hard to believe the movie will be anything more than "dust and echoes". ®

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