It’s getting dangerously close to twenty years since the first Halo game was released back in 2001. Now that I’ve said that out loud, I feel damn old. With all the various sequels, spin-offs, and other Halo-themed projects which have followed the success of that first game, it’s a no-brainer that there would be attempts at transforming the franchise into a feature-film or TV series. Unfortunately, the majority of those attempts have found themselves bogged down in development hell, but it could be Showtime who makes it out of the gate first with their upcoming big-budget Halo TV series. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES director Rupert Wyatt was originally slated to executive produce the series as well as direct several episodes, but he exited the project late last year and was replaced by Otto Bathurst (ROBIN HOOD).
“It’s with great disappointment that changes to the production schedule of Halo prevent me from continuing in my role as a director on the series. My time on Halo has been a creatively rich and rewarding experience with a phenomenal team of people,” Wyatt said in a statement last year. “I now join the legion of fans out there, excited to see the finished series and wishing everyone involved the very best.” While speaking with Collider recently, Rupert Wyatt spilled a few details on why he left the project in the first place.
I knew very little about Halo—same as I knew very little about Planet of the Apes when I got involved—and I kind of steeped myself in the mythology and began to realize how much incredible literature there was and the depth of the storytelling, and it all stacked up for me. There was an incredible foundation for the storytelling, so it was gangbusters. I was super excited. In short, I think if I had come at it from an earlier perspective from the building of it then perhaps it would have gone differently, but as a director of a TV show it’s quite hard to sort of become a creative architect of a show. I think in a way I was never gonna be that, and that’s fine because there are really many talented people involved in that show who are doing that job.
As development on the Halo series continued, Rupert Wyatt realized that he was going to be involved with the project for quite some time in order to get it off on the right foot, but as he wasn’t the creative architect of the series, it proved to be more of a commitment than he was willing to make. “It became clear that there was gonna be more time needed, I’m talking some months if not years, to align—as you probably know it’s massively ambitious, so the budget for that really needs to align with the scripts. We were still kind of working on that, but it ultimately wasn’t under my watch to be able to find that alignment,” Wyatt said. “So there was a choice made by Showtime which was essentially to push things, and if I had been perhaps been the showrunner then I would have stayed on that journey for two or three years, but as a director of a finite number of episodes, there’s other things I really wanna do. So I was very sad to leave, but basically it wasn’t within the framework that I originally signed up for.” Wyatt’s latest film, CAPTIVE STATE, is now playing in theaters so be sure to check out a review from our own Chris Bumbray.