Anime geeks will recognize the five production houses working on the films — Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G., Studio4[Degrees]C, and Toei Animation — as well as the creative director helping to oversee production for Microsoft: Shinji Aramaki, director of “Appleseed” and “Appleseed Ex Machina.”
Microsoft is financing and overseeing production through 343 Industries, its new internal division that’s in charge of everything Halo. It’s planning to preview them on the online gaming service Xbox Live this fall and has then enlisted Warner Bros. — the game companies still need a little help from Hollywood — to release them on DVD, Blu-ray and other digital platforms in early 2010.
Aramaki is directing his own short that tells the history of the Spartans, a warrior class in the game’s fictional universe that main character Master Chief is part of. Though Halo isn’t particularly popular in Japan — most of its 27 million units sold have been in North America and Europe — Aramaki said he’s a player and was immediately interested in the possibility.