Halo movie back on again!

It now looks as if a movie based on seminal Xbox shooter Halo will go into production - even though a host of major studios have dropped out of bidding for the rights following a catalogue of demands from Halo publisher Microsoft.

, Microsoft and its agents at the Creative Artists Agency insisted on a $10 million advance against 15% of the movie's gross takings and also wanted to retain full creative control.

It's now become apparent that Microsoft also required approval over the cast and director as well as demanding 60 (60!) first-class plane tickets for Microsoft representatives and their guests to the movie's premiere.

Consequently, the rights auction that Microsoft had expected never took place and a total of seven studios - including DreamWorks, Paramount and 20th Century Fox - dropped out of any bidding.

But, Halo fans, all is not lost: Microsoft and Creative Artists have come to an amended agreement with Universal and Fox although, according to a report in the New York Times, creative issues could still scupper the deal. Discussions are due to continue until this Friday (17 June).

"If you are going to play the toughest hand of the year, you better have the goods," a former Warner Brothers Pictures executive told the paper. "I think it's great that the studios didn't buy it on the terms first offered. It shows restraint."

The Halo movie is expected to reach cinemas in 2007