A live-action Halo movie was in development for years before suffering an all-too-familiar fate: disagreements between Microsoft and Hollywood eventually got the movie canned. It's a shame, too: if there was ever a video game built for a big-budget summer blockbuster, it's Halo.

That being said, anyone who's been craving live-action Halo doesn't have to go too far to find it: the series has hosted a number of live-action trailers over the years, and most (if not all) have been high quality. It's a chance for the creators of the games to explore a different side of the fiction, or present a new side of familiar conflicts — it's not quite the same as a full-length film, true, but it's the next best thing.

With Halo 5: Guardians just a few weeks away, it's time to look back at Halo's live-action history. From the very first short films to Halo 5: Guardians' dual trailers, here's every Halo live-action short every made:

Halo: Landfall

Released: 2007
Directed by: Neill Blomkamp

Easily one of the most popular Halo short ever made, Landfall was a part of the ridiculously massive Halo 3 marketing campaign and served as the franchise's first real foray into live-action work. Plus, it was directed by a pre-District 9 Neill Blomkamp — if you watch Landfall and District 9 back-to-back, it's easy to see the stylistic similarities.


Released: 2007
Directed by: Rupert Sanders

The Believe campaign was the spearhead of Microsoft's final, late-game marketing blitz before Halo 3's launch. While the campaign contained multiple shorts, the most iconic was the stunning "Diorama" video: a short fly-through of an immense battle frozen in time. The intricately-detailed diorama is more than enough of a reason to watch the short, but the final shot is easily one of the best moments in any Halo trailer.

The Life

Released: 2009
Directed by: Rupert Sanders

The Life (otherwise known as We are ODST) was Microsoft's first real expansion of their live-action Halo work. The result is one of the best looks at the ordinary soldiers of the Halo universe: The Life is a somber piece of work and does a lot more to humanize its stars than most other live-action pieces, even to this day.

Birth of a Spartan

Released: 2010
Directed by: Noam Murro

If The Life focused on the humanity of Halo's heroes, then Birth of a Spartan looked at how the war stripped that humanity away. Everything about Birth of a Spartan is somber and desolate, with an intentionally muted color palette and zero dialogue whatsoever. It tells a tale that's been ignored in most Halo games and looks at the Spartans as actual people — not weapons.

Deliver Hope

Released: 2010
Directed by: Noam Murro

Despite making the jump to live-action, most Halo trailers shied away from showing the epic battles between humanity and the Covenant. Deliver Hope changed that: released ahead of Halo: Reach, the short told the story of Noble Team prior to the events seen in the game. It's a surprisingly faithful representation of the Halo lore — if anything, it proves that a Halo movie could work.

Remember Reach

Released: 2010
Directed by: Noam Murro

In a lot of ways, Remember Reach was the Halo: Reach version of the Believe campaign: as a series of short films, Remember Reach told the story of the average citizens of Reach as the Covenant made landfall for the first time. Surprisingly, it doesn't have the same "end-of-the-world" feeling as Believe, but Remember Reach still does a commendable job of showing just how doomed the planet was.

The Commissioning

Released: 2012
Directed by: Nicolai Fuglsig

At its core, The Commissioning is the story of the UNSC super-ship Infinity. In Halo 4, the ship and her crew aren't given much of an introduction, but The Commissioning fixes that: not only do fans catch another glimpse of the average soldiers of the Halo universe, but the trailer shows exactly what happened when the Infinity reached Requiem near the beginning of Halo 4 in chilling fashion.


Released: 2012
Directed by: Tim Miller

Following The Commissioning, fans were craving a similarly-styled trailer featuring the Master Chief. They wouldn't have to wait long: a few months later, the Chief-centric Scanned debuted. Not only did it show off a few of Halo 4's new enemies, but it touched on the Master Chief's origins as well — something of which fans still haven't seen much.

All Hail and The Cost

Released: 2015
Directed by: Rupert Sanders

All Hail and The Cost are a clever look at the duality of Halo 5. In All Hail, newcomer Locke boasts about how the great hero has fallen; in The Cost, the Master Chief criticizes Locke about his methods. Neither side presents a clear winner, and Microsoft has given no clues on which version is canon — basically, the trailers are an extremely effective way of keeping fans on their toes without spoiling a thing.

A Hero Falls

Released: 2015
Directed by: N/A

A Hero Falls is almost the complete opposite of its predecessors: it's about as on-the-nose as you can get. It's a bit of a stretch to think that the Master Chief would lose his life to a building after four games of blasting ancient aliens and parasitic zombies, but it still raises the question: will John-117 survive the events of Halo 5: Guardians, or will he finally succumb to all the fighting?

With Halo 5: Guardians just a few short weeks away from release, it's pretty unlikely that fans will get to see any more live-action shorts before launch day. Then again, there's always that Steven Speilberg-produced live-action series — if it ever sees the light of day, that is. Maybe we'll just have to wait until Halo 6 for another live-action trailer ...

Halo 5: Guardians hits store shelves on Oct. 27.

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