Gamers to turn to their DVDs in 2010 for Halo Legends short films
Halo, one of the most popular first person shooter video games in the gaming community worldwide, is going to the silver screen with an anthology of seven short anime films titled “Halo Legends” that are expected to be released sometime in the year 2010.
Microsoft is collaborating with Japanese anime studios to make the seven short action films based on the Halo blockbuster videogame franchise.
According to Microsoft, the Halo Legends project is bringing together the science fiction videogame with “a renowned set of storytellers” from famous Japanese anime studios to take the franchise “to a new level.”
The game trilogy of Halo was created specifically for Microsoft’s Xbox videogame consoles was created by Bungie and owned and published by Microsoft Game Studios, first released in 2001. The videogames center on the adventures of a super soldier known as Master Chief who is defending mankind against an invading alien alliance referred to as The Covenant.
Since then there have been many sequels and spin-offs that have intrigued gamers around the world. It has been adapted into books, comics and now into anime.
The production team for the seven-part anime series has big names like Steven Spielberg, The BONES, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G., Studio 4°C, and Toei Animation anime studios working on the short films. The creative staff of Microsoft will be approving the visuals and storytelling.
If things go according to plan, Warner Brothers will release the anthology on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and digital distribution in early 2010. Trailer for the Halo panel at San Diego’s Comic-Con International (CCI) are already out, and Xbox 360 users can see a preview this fall on the Xbox Live service.
Three of the creative directors are Frank O’Connor of Microsoft’s 343 Industries, Shinji Aramaki, and Mamoru Oshii. J-Spec Pictures’ Joseph Chou is also in the production team. The short film by Aramaki will be covering the story of the history of the Spartan warrior class from the games. Studio 4°C will animate two 30-minute shorts about “the entire 100,000 year history of the Halo universe.” Toei’s short film on the other hand “is outside of the official canon and pokes fun at some of the game’s characters.”
“Halo and its characters are a very natural fit for anime,” said Aramaki. “As a fan of the Halo universe, it is an honor to work with Microsoft and my very talented peers from other studios to create this collection.”
Microsoft representatives have said that Halo Legends will be a compilation of short stories incorporating characters and themes from the videogame franchise. The Japanese studios involved with the Halo Legends anime project include creators of popular works such as “Fullmetal Alchemist” and “The Animatrix” which are considered all-time anime classics, according to the Redmond, Washington-based technology giant.
“The opportunity to work with talents such as Shinji Aramaki, Mamoru Oshii and others from some of the greatest anime studios is a very rare opportunity for Microsoft,” said Halo franchise development director Frank O’Connor.“We’ve seen the world through Master Chief’s eyes, and we’ve experienced facets of the universe through a variety of literary prisms, but now we get to watch new tales unfold in really rich, visually dynamic ways.”
The Halo anime will premier on the Xbox Live online entertainment platform linked to the Microsoft consoles. The Halo Legends Movie collection will be distributed by Warner Home Video, with release plans to be announced.
“The combination of the talent involved and the Halo brand ensure the collection is something consumers are really going to enjoy,” said Amit Desai, vice president of Family, Animation and Partner Brands marketing at Warner.