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Halo 4 series Forward Unto Dawn is being made by Sorority Row director. Uh-oh.

by William Schwartz

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While you might not be getting a fully-fledged, theatrical released Halo blockbuster film anytime soon, the Halo 4 web-series Forward Unto Dawn will attempt to appease fans of the franchise with live-action portions of Halo-inspired intensity and lore. The concept of Master Chief coming to life for the first time in a narrative-based setting is definitely cause for excitement, and Microsoft has certainly spent a great deal of time and money (A LOT of money) ensuring that the Chief’s on-screen debut is everything fans are hoping for. A feature in the LA Times which details the Forward Unto Dawn series however, notes that the project will be headed by Stewart Hendler – the guy who brought you the poorly received 2009 slasher flick, Sorority Row.

Forward Unto Dawn, set to be previewed Thursday at Comic-Con and launch October 5th, will play out over five weekly installments, said to be around 15 minutes each, and will tell an original story about Master Chief and how he inspired a young UNSC cadet who will eventually become a leader aboard the UNSC Infinity. This new character will reportedly tie in with the plot of Halo 4 and will also provide a flashback to the beginning of the war between mankind and the Covenant.

“We want this piece to do all the things that a game, by virtue of being a game, can’t,” said producer Lydia Antonini. “When you have real people, you can have real stakes and make connections.”

The segments of the series will be collected, along with 15 minutes of additional footage, into a 90-minute feature film. The cast of which, includes Australian actor Tom Green as the lead and Daniel Cudmore (he played Colossus in the X-Men movies and also appeared in three Twilight films) will play the role of Master Chief. If you’re worried about Spartan-117 being portrayed by a vampire in the Twilight series, don’t be. Remember that Cudmore will be donning the Mjolnir helmet and armor, preventing you from ever being reminded of anything having to do with Twilight. The report notes that Microsoft has shelled out between $5 million and $10 million to make Halo 4 and Master Chief come to life.

Regardless of how much money Microsoft has thrown at this thing, both Hollywood and the gaming industry have shown us countless examples in the past in which a loaded budget does not necessarily equal a quality product or even a commercially successful one. As a result, the realization that Hendler will be directing a pivotal chapter in the Halo saga and particularly of the Halo 4 story has us looking at the project with an ounce of cynicism.

If you couldn’t guess by name of the title, Hendler’s Sorority Row follows a group of sorority sisters as they’re being stalked and picked off by a serial killer. Don’t worry if you never got around to watching it. The film currently holds a 22% on Rotten Tomatoes out of a total 74 reviews.

“I wanted to bring a sense of reality and gravity to the world,” said Hendler, speaking in regard to directing Forward Unto Dawn. “Everything from the performances to the aesthetics should be tethered to a sense of authenticity and grittiness.”

Hendler certainly seems focused on staying true to Halo‘s graphic design and harsh setting and less concentrated on implementing his own creative influences, which is a good thing. At the end of the day though, the project is being produced by a director whose only feature length film included a character played by Audrina Patridge. In other words, we’re a tad worried about this forthcoming Halo 4 live-action series. Though as long as Forward Unto Dawn doesn’t feature the Chief being chased around the UNSC Infinity by a serial killer wielding a tire iron, we have faith that it won’t suck.

Source: LA Times

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