Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and the Oscar-winning team behind "The Lord of the Rings" movies are delaying plans for a feature film based on "Halo," the software company's popular alien shoot-up video games.

"At this time Microsoft, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh have mutually agreed to postpone making a feature film based on the Halo video game," Microsoft said in a statement on Tuesday.

"While it will undoubtedly take a little longer for Halo to reach the big screen, we are confident that the final feature film will be well worth the wait," said the company, which through a spokesman declined further comment.

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The film had been scheduled for release in the summer of 2008.

Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox dropped out as financial backers for the film earlier this month after attempting to renegotiate the deal's terms.

Universal Studios is a unit of NBC Universal, which is 80 percent owned by General Electric Co. (GE) and 20 percent by France's Vivendi and Fox is owned by News Corp. (NWS)

At that time, Microsoft had said it would press on with the big-budget project with producers Jackson and Walsh.

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