Halo movie post-pwned by Microsoft and Jackson

The Halo movie: It was on, then delayed, then off, then on again, and now off ... but just a little bit. After Fox and Universal pulled funding from the project -- citing the inexperience of rookie film, but veteran commercial, director Neill Blomkamp -- Microsoft and Jackson expressed optimism that the project would continue despite the headshot. Evidently, that optimism has been tempered because production of the Halo movie has been postponed effective immediately. Here's the official statement making the rounds this morning:

"As was previously confirmed, we deeply regret that both Universal and Fox did not choose to move forward with financing the Halo film under the original terms of the agreement. At this time Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, along with their partner, Microsoft, have mutually agreed to postpone making a feature film based on the Halo video game universe until we can fulfill the promise we made to millions of Halo fans throughout the world that we would settle for no less than bringing a first class film to the big screen. We are fully supportive of Director Neill Blomkamp's vision of the film. Neill is a tremendously gifted filmmaker and his preliminary work on Halo is truly awe-inspiring. While it will undoubtedly take a little longer for Halo to reach the big screen, we are confident that the final feature film will be well worth the wait."

Are you wondering what sort of filmmaker -- one with no previous features under his belt, no less a property the size of Halo -- would inspire that sort of confidence? You can scrutinize his curriculum vitae (we're sure that's what Fox and Universal did) and see if you can empathize with their decision. If Blomkamp is still in, we're not sure what factors will need to change to allow the production to "fulfill the promise ... made to millions of Halo fans throughout the world." Is this a waiting game? Sit pretty until some big money rolls in and shores up that budget? Y'know, we hear Microsoft is pretty wealthy.

[Thanks, everyone!]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.