Halo Film Script A Convincing Adaptation

Halo by Alex Garland Just recently, Rampancy.net had an opportunity to acquire a copy of a document, in PDF format, that purports to be a version of the script for the Halo film, written by Alex Garland and dated February 6, 2005.

While there is no way to be absolutely certain, prior to the release of the film, whether or not this is real, it bears a close enough resemblance in its opening portions to the Halo script reviewed by El Mayimbe at LatinoReview and that we posted a link to back on November 8. El Mayimbe rated the script five stars.

While the two scripts might not be exactly the same, and either version might not be the one that ends up being shot, the review and the script itself have convinced me, solely by their content, that at the very least they are working versions of the script for the Halo film.

The script itself has actually quite impressed me as an adaptation of the first game, the plot of which it closely follows. Before anyone asks, it is not my intention to distribute the file widely, nor to "spoil" the film-- although I hardly think that is possible for this audience.

However, recent discussions about casting, about whether or not we'll see the Master Chief's face in the film, and whether the game's original voice cast will be used have proven interesting. So what I propose to do is periodically post small details from the scripts as discussion-starters; points of comparison where the film diverges (even if only slightly) from the games and the novels, to see how the community feels about them. Who knows-- if this script is, in fact, legitimate, and anyone involved in actually making the film sees these discussions, it might serve as food for thought.

Is Cortana Insubordinate? The first such point I'll post is a short part of an exchange that takes place during the Pillar of Autumn cutscene, as it has been rewritten in this version of the film script. In the game, Cortana points out to Keyes that the ship would be better off with her piloting it down to the surface of Halo. Keyes replies that since the Cole Protocol prohibits the capture or destruction of the onboard AI to protect sensitive information such as the location of Earth, that is not an option.

In the script version, Cortana is more insistent on this point, and Keyes' response seems to indicate that at times it has been necessary to use an "override command" on an advanced AI in order to get it to obey. This isn't necessarily a big change from the way AIs behave in the novels, but it is a change in the way Cortana is presented in the first game, where her trustworthiness isn't really called into question until she comes into contact with Halo's systems in the Control Room.

What do you think? Is the film version of Cortana going to be less reliable, perhaps more rampant, than the one in the original game? If so, what payoff can there be for doing this within the context of the first film? Is this setting up something that happens later-- in other words, are there already plans for sequels to the Halo film? Would those cover the sequence of events in the games, or in the novels?

What do you think? Add a comment below!

5
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Cortana is crazy.

Quote:

Is the film version of Cortana going to be less reliable, perhaps more rampant, than the one in the original game?

Cortana may be presented a little more feisty in the movie for the audience. Not everyone is going to pick up a subtle shift in an A.I.'s behavior unless they show it in a manner that would make an average joe say, "WTF? CORTANA R H4X!1!!"

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
i dont think they have plann

i dont think they have planned that far ahead as a sequel or anything but
but more rampant, i see. that is her characteristics in the novels anyways
as for the sequel they're probably gonna wait and see how much money the first movie grosses [i think thats the word] microsoft wants their money

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
First Strike and stuff.

I sincerely hope that it follows the path from Halo to Earth (First Strike) since many of those who read the book tought Bungie would talk about it more in Halo 2.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
gaddawful

NO! NO, no, no, no NO!
[IMHO]

I stand by the idea that this script seems to be terribly poorly written. Everything that's been directly quoted (dialogue only thus far) has been absolutely horrendous.

Not only does this changed dialogue have no basis at all in the Halo world (Cortana was specially designed to bypass overrides! Who misses that?), but it's both needless and senseless. Now Keyes is verbally backhanding Cortana? Why would you add that? Cortana's not "sassy enough" for Hollywood? Keyes isn't clear enough as a badass? He needs to put down a female character to show us? I don't get it.

Next up- Cortana is shown running away from a virus in hologram, screaming as she trips and then takes time to look behind her and scream into the camera before trying to stand up. Also see "wet t-shirt scene".

*insert head shake*
As I've said before- maybe the rest of the script is somehow different, but everytime a direct quote pops up, it's something I would personally never allow into Halo if I was on the approval board for the script.

Notables:
-Chief pops out of cryo to see engineering crew and says, "WHAT are my orders." Chief is the highest-ranking person present- he would ask WHERE his orders were at the least. Anyone with half a mind for military detail would pick up on that one.
-The ODST saying, "Let's spill blood". At the least, an ODST would say something like "I wanna be waist-deep in dead Covies by 08-hundred!" (er, you get the idea). The script's line sounds like something a fourth-grader might write.

So, personally, I've seen three absolutely terrible examples of dialogue from the movie, aside from plot diagreements (we do not see face!). If this script were to be filmed, I wouldn't be caught dead in the theatre.

narcogen's picture
narcogen
Offline
Joined: 05/26/1999
Not at all

Quote:
NO! NO, no, no, no NO!
[IMHO]

I stand by the idea that this script seems to be terribly poorly written. Everything that's been directly quoted (dialogue only thus far) has been absolutely horrendous.

I think you're being unnecessarily harsh. While Halo is a great game, I don't think anybody was discussing awarding it the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, so I think it's safe to say that a tweak here or there is not completely unwarranted. Since you've pointed out some particular examples, I'll address them.

Quote:
Not only does this changed dialogue have no basis at all in the Halo world (Cortana was specially designed to bypass overrides! Who misses that?), but it's both needless and senseless. Now Keyes is verbally backhanding Cortana? Why would you add that? Cortana's not "sassy enough" for Hollywood? Keyes isn't clear enough as a badass? He needs to put down a female character to show us? I don't get it.

I do think you've missed the point of this exchange. Just because Cortana is designed to bypass overrides doesn't mean she should or would in all cases. Nor does it mean there are no overrides that would work on her. We see in "First Strike" that Halsey did put overrides into her AIs that even they did not know about. That is a reasonable caution to take when dealing with an AI like Cortana.

The exchange is hardly a "verbal backhand". Cortana is under Keyes' command and she is close to defying a direct order. Keyes is asking her whether she will comply voluntarily or if he has to use other methods. There doesn't seem to me to be anything unusual in this exchange at all in terms of their relationship.

"Sassiness" I think is not the issue. The entire plot of Halo 1 and Halo 2 brings Cortana's loyalty and true motives into question. I think this scene brings this issue up earlier than the game does.

Quote:
Next up- Cortana is shown running away from a virus in hologram, screaming as she trips and then takes time to look behind her and scream into the camera before trying to stand up. Also see "wet t-shirt scene".

*insert head shake*
As I've said before- maybe the rest of the script is somehow different, but everytime a direct quote pops up, it's something I would personally never allow into Halo if I was on the approval board for the script.

For those watching at home, there's nothing like that in the script at all. Not even close.

Quote:
Notables:
-Chief pops out of cryo to see engineering crew and says, "WHAT are my orders." Chief is the highest-ranking person present- he would ask WHERE his orders were at the least. Anyone with half a mind for military detail would pick up on that one.

I don't see that this follows at all, either militarily or theatrically.

The Chief has just awoken from Cryo; the rank of the individuals before him may not be immediately apparent. Furthermore, as they are probably either Navy personnel or possibly even civilian technicians, the relationship in rank between them and the Chief may not even be terribly relevant.

Whether it's accurate or not, I think audiences have seen enough times over orders from superiors being given to subordinates through intermediaries. The question "what are my orders" from the Chief to those of inferior rank does not necessarily mean he is willing to accept orders given by them.

Dramatically, the question "where are my orders?" does not have the same impact at all, and would likely leave a good portion of the audience scratching its head and wondering why the Chief is preoccupied with such minutiae.

As long as making up theoretical exchanges is in-bounds for the sake of argument, let's imagine this:

Master Chief: Where are my orders?
Navy Crewman: Over there, on the mantelpiece.
Master Chief: Ah. Well, I'll just pop over and get them, shall I?
Navy Crewman: Very good, sir. And would you care for a spot of tea?
Master Chief: Thank you no, Crewman. Oxidants, you know.
Navy Crewman: (Laughing nervously) Of course, sir.

In the game, a Marine comes to Cryo and tells you your orders: to get to the Bridge. In a way, this is an answer to the question "where are my orders" which is left unasked-- but that's only because while in control of the player, the Chief cannot speak.

Moreover, the point of interactive NPCs in that part of the game is to lead you gently into the action. The film rightly skips all that. The scene has to cut from that question "What are my orders?" directly into the action, with the assumption that the Chief has been given those orders, without actually having to bother with unnecessary dialogue. The question "where are my orders" can't work that way because it implies at least one extra round of questions before the Chief gets the information he really wants-- which is what he's supposed to do, not where he's supposed to go to find out what he's supposed to do.

Dramatically, what the line I think is intended to do is give the impression that the Chief is a no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point kind of guy. The most direct form of the question does the best job of doing that. Again, in the game the Chief never speaks when under player control, so it isn't necessary to establish this. In the film, it is-- he cannot go as long in the movie as he does in the game without speaking, it just won't work.

Quote:
-The ODST saying, "Let's spill blood". At the least, an ODST would say something like "I wanna be waist-deep in dead Covies by 08-hundred!" (er, you get the idea). The script's line sounds like something a fourth-grader might write.

The ODST in question is, in fact, Major Silva. Let's not forget that while the humans are all supposed to be on the same side, as in the novel, in the film Silva is something of an antagonist. He resents the Master Chief and all the Spartans, and to that extent he's almost a "bad guy" (at least to the extent that the Master Chief is the protagonist).

The line you've written sounds more like the over-the-top, almost humorous lines delivered by Sergeant Johnson in the game. I think Silva's lines, given the action he has to perform in the script, are appropriately cold and humorless, and the line you've cited is a good example of this.

Quote:
So, personally, I've seen three absolutely terrible examples of dialogue from the movie, aside from plot diagreements (we do not see face!). If this script were to be filmed, I wouldn't be caught dead in the theatre.

Actually, it's not entirely clear whether the Chief's face is shown or not, but I'm leaving that for a more detailed discussion later. However, I think it's also fair to point out that an item like that really doesn't concern Halo's plot; it's more of a minor stylistic detail.

The script actually made me optimistic about the chances that the film will be good, which I didn't feel at all before I read it. That doesn't mean it's guaranteed to be good, but I think it has a chance.

It sounds to me like you'd be unwilling to brook any changes at all from the original dialogue. That's fine; for me, I don't mind it as long as the sense and spirit of the story is maintained, and the script seems to do that.

Funkmon's picture
Funkmon
Offline
Joined: 04/08/2004
You know...

I'm not too sure what's going to happen later in the movie, Narc, but it seems that Cortana is being set up for an outburst, and possibly even a plot twist involving her rampancy in the movie, hugely diverging from the game.

Now-here's what I'm thinking about the script. I know you bit, and I trust you, but how do we know that this script you have a hold of isn't merely a fan-fiction, with the beginning of the script altered to parallel the LatinoReview information? How sure are you that it's credible, and, how (in central Asia) could you have gotten hold of this?

narcogen's picture
narcogen
Offline
Joined: 05/26/1999
Re: You know...

Funkmon wrote:
I'm not too sure what's going to happen later in the movie, Narc, but it seems that Cortana is being set up for an outburst, and possibly even a plot twist involving her rampancy in the movie, hugely diverging from the game.

Now-here's what I'm thinking about the script. I know you bit, and I trust you, but how do we know that this script you have a hold of isn't merely a fan-fiction, with the beginning of the script altered to parallel the LatinoReview information? How sure are you that it's credible, and, how (in central Asia) could you have gotten hold of this?

To answer your last question first, the Intertron is a wonderful thing.

As for whether or not you know the script is real-- well, I guess you don't, and for that matter, I don't know, at least not the way I know things like my shoe size and my social security number. If it is a fraud, it's exhaustively researched and impeccably produced, in a completely different class than the Halo 3 script that circulated awhile ago. If it were anything close to that quality, this discussion would obviously be quite different.

The only piece of fan fiction I've ever seen that was this detailed was the Enkidu Terminals-- and with all due respect to the author, while I know many assumed it was a legitimate communication from Bungie I always had my doubts. I have fewer doubts about this script. That doesn't mean I have no doubts, but it means I have few enough that I'm willing to discuss its individual points as if this is a legitimate script. Perhaps it will turn out not to be. Perhaps it will be so completely revised that upon the movie's release it will be unclear if this was ever legitimate. It's hard to say.

As for your point about Cortana-- I think "hugely diverging" is going too far, but I'll leave discussion of that for a bit later.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Well, I think they should hav

Well, I think they should have made it about The Fall of Reach. I think populous would find that more intersting.
I guess they'll have to make a second, and possibly a third movie.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Override?

From playing Halo and reading the first book this doesn't sound right. I can't imagine Cortana allowing any such override to exist, let alone function.
--DJ

narcogen's picture
narcogen
Offline
Joined: 05/26/1999
Re: Override?

Quote:
From playing Halo and reading the first book this doesn't sound right. I can't imagine Cortana allowing any such override to exist, let alone function.
--DJ

Check First Strike, where Halsey has to destroy another of her AIs using an override that it wasn't aware of. I find it believable that Cortana also has such an override-- I also find it believable that Keyes might know it.

A weapon you have no control over would be of no practical use. Cortana might still go out of control and become dangerous, but she cannot be completely uncontrollable by design.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
overide command?

i've never heard of an AI beind subordinate. They're tools. Tools that expire after seven years, no matter what their intelligence is. From what i see either cortana is insubordinate forcing keyes to be assertive or Keyes is just a long winded jackass... Neiter change i like at all. IE: In Fall of Reach the worst incident for an AI was when Deja suggested to delay the program. Halsey didn't need any "commands" to control her.. They're just obediant tools. If hollywood wants to expand on characters i'd rather they change the ones we don't already know. Thats it, sorry for the long comment.

narcogen's picture
narcogen
Offline
Joined: 05/26/1999
Independence

Cortana is quite obviously not just a tool. She has a human personality imprinted on her (Halsey's) and is capable of being insubordinate. At the very least, she's operating under orders that include concealing information from others, including Keyes and the Chief.

While you are right in referring to FoR, there was an instance where an AI in FS was using its skills against branches of the human military, apparently on her own initiative, and eventually (in an unrelated incident) had to be tricked by Halsey using a special override.

I'm going to have to pull my copies of the novels out of storage to cite more exactly.


Rampant for over six years.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Post it (or don't)

Post the PDF, or don't and post a single review of it.

The whole idea of little bits is literally driving me insane.

I'd rather not see any of it, or see the whole thing. A few bits out of context is just a big tease Sad

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Halo script.

Does'nt bother me. It actually seems to make sense to have such an over ride code if simply for the reason that in the event an AI does go rampant or is otherwise compromised it can still be forced to comply with an order. I think it adds a little more realism to the story and helps make it clear that Cortana while invaluable to us is still just a artificial construct that must be subserviant to us not the otherway around.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
cortana keyes exchange

why would they screw up the origanal dialouge like that? The opening cinematic form Halo is much better, it gives us a better sense of who Keyes is

narcogen's picture
narcogen
Offline
Joined: 05/26/1999
Screwed up?

I don't think it's really significantly different. In fact, it's more revealing of Keyes' character. You may just find that character a bit more harsh than what the game shows-- at least with Cortana anyway.


Rampant for over six years.

aircard37's picture
aircard37
Offline
Joined: 12/15/2007
Re: Halo Film Script A Convincing Adaptation

does any one know if there will be a trilogy of halo movies, like a trilogy of the games, cuz that would be completely gay if it is all cram-packed into one movie, and how do you post something as anonymous?

aircard37's picture
aircard37
Offline
Joined: 12/15/2007
Re: Halo Film Script A Convincing Adaptation

nevermind about my last post, i read the fragments of the script and found at the end of the movie, it is a part in one of the books, where between halo one and 2 when the chief highjacks a covenant capital ship to get back to earth so yea there will be more than one movie, good, but i still would like to know how to post anonymously, tnx

narcogen's picture
narcogen
Offline
Joined: 05/26/1999
Re: Halo Film Script A Convincing Adaptation

Click the "logout" button and you'll be anonymous. It's in the top left hand corner.

You cannot be logged in and post anonymously. Rampancy doesn't offer that feature.


Rampant for over se7en years.

aircard37's picture
aircard37
Offline
Joined: 12/15/2007
Re: Halo Film Script A Convincing Adaptation

okay, tnx, i didn't know if it was a security feature or not but i'll declare my membership, lol, makes me feel special, so i'll still comment signed in, but tnx

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Re: The Plot

(sorry if this changes the topic...)
I really dont think it will matter if they change little things, but are they gonna change anything major??? and will it only be with the MC or with the MC and Odsts or just ODSTs or what? i hope they give us more then one point of view(like in "The Flood") with the MC the Odsts. Also in a scene i saw on like youtube, there are brutes so will this be in the second game also? brutes arnt in the books intill the covie station on thier way back to earth so why are there brutes? if there are no brutes justy correct me.Sorry for a long post.

---- your friendly annon,-= FG(2) =-

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
The Fall Of Reach

I hope the movie will be about the battle for Reach.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Those bastards took it down!

AND BUNGIE, controlling everything, took the script down off of that site. or, the page got deleted. I keep getting error 404 messages. bastards!

goboy3133's picture
goboy3133
Offline
Joined: 07/15/2010
Re: Halo Film Script A Convincing Adaptation

Did anyone look at the date of the script? 2/6/05. 2005!!!! What the hell are have they been doing for the last 5 years? Thinking what NOT to put in?!?!?!? Puzzled

Also, did any one realise what Cortana's script was? SAME AS IN HALO 1!!! Halo Babies Cortana WTF?!?!?!? Shocked Sad Shocked Sad

narcogen's picture
narcogen
Offline
Joined: 05/26/1999
Re: Halo Film Script A Convincing Adaptation

What have they been doing? Nothing. The project was shut down at least 2 years ago (if not longer) due to disagreements between MS and the film studios.


Rampant for over se7en years.


Syndicate content