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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 November 2006, 12:09 GMT
Jackson agrees Halo movie delay
Screen grab from Halo video game
Halo has sold more than five million copies worldwide
Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson and software giant Microsoft have stopped production on a feature film version of the popular video game Halo.

Film studios Fox and Universal pulled out last month, but the film-makers vowed to continue with the project.

Now Microsoft says it has "mutually agreed" to delay the film with Jackson and his co-producer Fran Walsh.

"We are confident that the final feature film will be well worth the wait," it said in a statement.

The movie was due to be directed by first-time feature film-maker Neill Blomkamp.

Jackson, who won a best director Oscar for Lord Of The Rings, was an executive producer on the movie, which was scheduled for release in the summer 2008.

Rising costs

Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox dropped out as financial backers in October.

Rumours suggested the studios were concerned the budget could reach 200m, after an original projection of 135m.

The film-makers said the studios pulled out after they and Microsoft refused to reduce their deals on the project.

Halo is widely credited with making Microsoft's Xbox games console a success in the West.

The video game has a complex mix of mythology, characters and worlds and follows the adventures of futuristic super-soldier Master Chief as he fights to save mankind from an alien race.

The original game was launched in 2001, and went on to sell five million copies around the world.

More than seven million gamers bought the 2004 sequel, and the series' third instalment is due out next year.

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