According to Neill Blomkamp, the Halo film’s failure to launch ultimately proved better for his career, the writer-director told the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex.
“The luck is the fact that Peter [Jackson] and Fran [Walsh] let me make [District 9] out of the ruins that were Halo,” Blomkamp told Hero Complex. “What happened out of that was learning to trust my ideas. If Halo had come out and succeeded or failed, I wouldn’t have learned that.”
Blomkamp was discovered by Jackson and tapped to direct the Halo film adaptation in 2006, which fell apart after 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures, who were financing the film, pulled out. And while initially Blomkamp was dismayed about the missed opportunity, he eventually learned to view it as a blessing in diguise—one that allowed him to continue pursuing his own personal projects and realizing his own sci-fi storytelling visions.
“There are many franchises out there I would love to participate in,” said Blomkamp. “The problem is when you agree to do that, you take a lot of the control that you have over your own creative destiny away from yourself.”
Blomkamp’s next film, Elysium—which features a Halo–ish structure perched in Earth orbit—hits theaters this week, August 9.