Source: The celebrated script-snatchers at Latinoreview. (WARNING: Review contains strong language.)
The official story: Attempts to contact representatives at Halo distributor Universal Studios went unanswered as of press time.
What we heard: Latinoreview has been a source of early reviews of film scripts. Last week, reviewer El Mayimbe gave the world its first peek at the Splinter Cell movie script (the same week as a leak of the possible plot for Splinter Cell 4). While the rundown of Sam Fisher's first big-screen foray was indeed interesting, El Mayimbe dropped a not-so-subtle-hint that he had an even bigger scoop in store: a review of the highly guarded script for the Halo movie.
As fans know, Halo is expected to blast onto the big screen in 2007. Its developer Bungie and publisher Microsoft opted to make the movie on certain conditions. Microsoft paid novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later, The Beach) $1 million to pen a script using a set of guidelines put forth by Bungie's creative directors, and then it shopped the script around to studios via couriers dressed as series' hero Master Chief.
Though the Halo franchise has made $600 million and counting, several studios passed (due to Microsoft's rather stark demands of creative control and monetary compensation) before Fox and Universal took on the project. However, all parties agreed to let Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson executive-produce Halo, which will feature special effects from his personal studio.
Though El Mayimbe said he wouldn't have the Halo script until November 9, today he posted a review on the site. In short, he LOVES it. Though the oft-excitable reviewer has previously heaped praise on many screenplays, he seems particularly taken with this draft of Halo, calling it a "tour de force" and giving it his highest rating of five stars.
El Mayimbe does a fairly in-depth job at laying out Halo's first act, which combines elements of the original Halo game and the novel Halo: Fall of Reach. The opening sequence is right out of the latter, which chronicles large-scale battles between Covenant armies and a whole platoon of cybernetic SPARTAN troopers. Without letting too many spoilers slip, El Mayimbe says the film will sport familiar ships, such as The Pillar of Autumn and Truth and Reconciliation, as well as enemies like jackals, hunters, and elites.
Perhaps most impressively, El Mayimbe says the game's visceral violence isn't watered down in the script, which he calls "the Saving Private Ryan of video game movies." "We got headshots, bodies being cut in half by the swords of the Stealth Elite," he wrote. "We see what kind of damage plasma grenades can do and yes we get to see the horror of flood infection vessels--heads snapping back and torsos exploding."
But how trustworthy is Latinoreivew? Its past reviews of critically lauded blockbusters, like Batman Begins have been pretty much spot-on. But is the script the real deal? Since NBC-Universal isn't talking, we don't know for sure. We hope so, though...
Bogus or not bogus?: We're going on faith and saying not bogus. That said, many-a-great script has ended up becoming a mediocre movie. Hopefully Jackson will assure a quality final product.