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Halo director chosen, movie out summer '08

After months of speculation, Microsoft announced their choice for director of the film adaptation of their star property, Halo, this morning. After enlisting New Zealand's Peter Jackson to serve as Executive Producer last October, there has been little revealed about the secretive project. Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro seemed like a brilliant choice -- a proven storyteller with a knack for FX work -- but scheduling conflicts (apparently) couldn't be overcome.

Enter South Africa's Neill Blomkamp, director of last year's exceptional short film Alive in Joburg, a futuristic commentary on Apartheid in South Africa where aliens have become refugees. The film, embedded after the break, blends photorealistic CGI with handheld, documentary style filmmaking.

Described in his bio as "a new breed of director, [who] has harnessed the powers of technology, art and creativity to bring the world imagery never before possible" and by Microsoft as "one of the most innovative and original artists currently working in short films and commercial advertising," Blomkamp seems as unlikely a choice to direct Halo as ... well, as Peter Jackson was to direct Lord of the Rings. The film will be shot in Wellington, New Zealand -- to take advantage of Jackson's state-of-the-art Weta facilities -- and will see a worldwide release in the summer of 2008.

[Thanks, Evan]

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