A writing match made in heaven? Author Alex Garland is to write the screenplay of the movie based on Halo, the XBox’s most popular game. Best known in the UK for his debut novel The Beach, Garland was widely believed to be suffering from post-Blockbuster Writer’s block (although he subsequently wrote The Tesseract, the film 28 Days Later and the graphic novel The Coma). In 2001 he was quoted as saying ‘at the moment I am playing on my X-box an awful lot.’
I know less than nothing about the Xbox, but in October, 2003, Chris Baker of Wired guest-hosted this site and had this suggestion:
Microsoft loses $100 on every purchase of an Xbox. Go out and buy 200 of them, hack them to run Linux, load them with educational software, and send them to elementary schools in Central America.
Halo seems a remarkable comedown from being compared with Graham Greene for The Beach to writing “Dawn of the Dead” ripoffs to now writing a video game adaptation. (Although it’s worth noting that Garland himself is a video game addict.)
The Tesseract came out in 2000 and Garland did nothing until 28 Days Later (roughly two and a half years later). For a man who received major payola for The Beach, this seemed a disappointment for a guy who was financially flush enough to concentrate on writing, let alone improve his strength at merging popular and literary elements.