David Fincher produced the Halo 4 launch trailer

David Fincher

Regardless of how you might view the Halo series, you can’t deny that the franchise has become a massive worldwide phenomenon. November 6 sees the release of Halo 4, so as befitting a game with this much built-in fan anticipation, Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to ensure that this launch is a very big deal. To wit: The gaming giant enlisted David Fincher and Tim Miller to create the Halo 4 launch trailer.

Fincher, for those of you who have been living in a soundproofed cave for the past decade, is best known as the director of 2010’s The Social Network, a dramatic, fictionalized retelling of the creation of Facebook. Additionally, Fincher also counts films such as  Se7en, Fight Club and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button among his credits. He’s even got a few movies that don’t star Brad Pitt.

By comparison, Miller is less famous, though he served as visual effects lead on Fincher’s English-language remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and is widely known in industry circles as a “special effects wizard.” On an unrelated yet still interesting note, Miller is also scheduled to direct Ryan Reynolds in that long-in-gestation Deadpool movie.

Though details on the trailer are scant, here’s what we know so far: The trailer is entitled “Scanned” and its live-action components were recently shot in Prague. The final product is about two minutes long, and though Halo 4 won’t hit shelves until November, this trailer is scheduled to debut during the October 18 episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. As far as plot, the clip seems pretty rote. The Hollywood Reporter describes it thusly:

The action-packed promo blends CGI with live action to explore the backstory of Master Chief and provide a glimpse of the new threat he will encounter in Halo 4.

So, pretty much what you would expect from the Halo 4 launch trailer, it seems.

Still, this unlikely collaboration of Microsoft and two famed Hollywood players seems odd. While we’re sure that shooting a two-minute long, CGI-heavy commercial probably didn’t put much strain on either man’s schedule, we’re curious as to why Miller and Fincher would want to add this short to their credits. As if to directly address this question, Miller explained that in the end, it’s all about telling a great story.

Halo is one of the most iconic sci-fi universes, with a depth that allows for amazingly cinematic and emotionally riveting stories,” Miller told The Hollywood Reporter. “The chance to tell a story that explores never-before-seen facets of Master Chief’s journey is an honor. Our goal is to deliver a blockbuster, Hollywood-quality trailer that raises the bar for the award-winning legacy of live-action Halo storytelling and gets fans stoked for the return of Master Chief.”

That sounds a lot like what Neill Blomkamp said of Halo back when he was planning to film a feature-length movie based on the franchise. Given how that project turned out, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Fincher and Miller can cobble together something a bit more tangible.


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