Microsoft has admitted that it is indeed recruiting for a "Halo collaboration" with epic director Peter Jackson. But what is the project?

The once-confirmed Halo film has been hit with so many problems that it was postponed - first Universal and Fox studios pulled out; then Microsoft parted company with Halo developer, Bungie (which is not mooted to have affected the project); then the film was officially put on the back burner in November 2006.

Since then, we've seen occasional leaks onto the world wide web about Halo-related projects with the latest an ad for staff to work at Microsoft with "an external luminary" in relation to "a new experience in the Halo universe".

Microsoft has released a statement after being bombarded by hoards of gaming journos: "Microsoft Game Studios has been hard at work collaborating with Peter Jackson and Bungie on the development of that project".

"At this time, it's necessary to grow the internal team to keep pace with development. Bungie will continue to remain involved in multiple aspects of the Halo Universe with MGS."

Bloggers are suggesting that the project is a new Halo game, but separate from the one that the now-independent Bungie is currently working on (according to rumours).

And then there's the Xbox 360 Halo spin-off game, Halo Wars, which is being made by Ensemble Studios and will arrive this autumn.

So that leaves us with the top secret "Halo: Chronicles", which was mentioned as far back as 2005. The suspense is all too much ... but we'll keep you informed.