Hollywood movie makers are locked in a $87.4 million (GBP46 million) battle to secure the film rights for hit videogame HALO.

The Xbox game is the console's biggest-selling title to date - selling over 13 million copies and earning $619.4 million (GBP326 million) since its release four years ago (01).

Computer giants MICROSOFT originally paid British author Alex Garland $1 million (GBP550,00) to pen the game script - which centres on genetically-enhanced solider MASTER CHEF on a mission to save the world.

Movie makers UNIVERSAL, Fox, Warner BROS and Paramount are all battling to secure the big-screen version - after the widely anticipated script was delivered by couriers dressed as the lead character to studios last week (begs13JUN05).

Whoever secures the rights is likely to rush it into production by January (05).

19/06/2005 21:16