Japanese production houses working seven 'Legends' short films.
July 23, 2009 - The Halo-verse just got bigger. Microsoft is producing Halo Legends, an anime-style series comprised of seven short films that expand the story behind the wildly popular videogame franchise.
Five production houses in Japan -- Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G., Studio4 C, and Toei Animation -- are handling the animation, while Microsoft's creative staff is handling the approval for the visuals and storytelling, the software maker announced today.
"The opportunity to work with talents such as Shinji Aramaki, Mamoru Oshii and others from some of the greatest anime studios is a very rare opportunity for Microsoft," said Frank O'Connor, Halo franchise development director and provider of story and creative direction for 343 Industries.
"We've seen the world through Master Chief's eyes, and we've experienced facets of the universe through a variety of literary prisms, but now we get to watch new tales unfold in really rich, visually dynamic ways. I think anime fans and Halo fans alike are in for a real treat."
Few story details have emerged, but the Los Angeles times has the broad strokes. Shinji Aramaki, one of the creative directors working with Microsoft on the project, is crafting a short that will detail the history of the Spartan warrior class.
Another installment from Studio4 C, "Origins," is a two-part film. The two 30-minutes segements tell "the entire 100,000 year history of the Halo universe."
"I think the core Halo fans will recognize key moments from the universe never shown in the game," he said. "They're moments where people wanted more depth. That's where this fits," O'Connor explains.
Warner Bros. will distribute Halo Legends on DVD, Blu-ray, and digitally in early 2010. Xbox Live fans can catch a preview of the anime this fall.
The first look at Halo Legends will be revealed during the Halo panel at Comic-Con on Thursday.
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