You don’t have to be based in Hollywood to make powerful movies

Five years ago, while Peter Jackson was immersed in directing his large-scale remake of "King Kong" for Universal, executive Mary Parent mentioned a project the studio was developing based on the wildly popular video game "Halo."

Jackson was intrigued. He loved to play "Halo" with his two teenage children; his special effects company, New Zealand-based WETA, seemed perfect to handle the FX; and a 15% tax rebate made a Kiwi shoot ideal for Universal and co-financier Fox. So Jackson agreed to produce, alongside his lifetime partner Fran Walsh and their colleague Carolynne Cunningham.

Jackson would not direct, but he would find a promising young helmer to work under his supervision. When Parent suggested Neill Blomkamp, based on a short film of his she'd seen, the South Africa-born filmmaker left his home in Vancouver and flew to meet the Jackson team.

"All of a sudden," Blomkamp recalls, "I went from being this lowly commercials director to doing a really high-profile film." 

Then things went wrong. Five months after the producers started work on the script, doing digital previsualizations, manufacturing and designing sets, Fox and Universal pulled the plug. 


Filmmaking, Producers

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