Loyal fans of Microsoft's mega-popular "Halo" video game franchise (opens in new tab) have a lot to cheer about after years of failed attempts to adapt the Xbox sci-fi shooter into a live-action feature film left the Master Chief in a state of limbo.
Now Paramount+ has picked up the flag and is carrying it home to 2022 with a live-action TV series based on the military sci-fi universe of "Halo." (opens in new tab) The upcoming show will center around the ongoing 26th-century conflict between the United Nations Space Command and the ruthless alien Covenant.
According to Deadline (opens in new tab), ViacomCBS recently announced plans to bring the “Halo” project to its newly renamed Paramount+ streaming service instead of Showtime. CBS Chief Creative Officer David Nevins explained that rough footage made the network rethink its decision and reposition the gung-ho space saga as a stellar offering for the Paramount+ platform.
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"It delivers the visceral excitement of playing the game, along with a much deeper emotional experience around the Spartans, human beings who got their humanity chemically and genetically altered," Nevins told Deadline (opens in new tab), "The story is about reclaiming what makes them human, and therefore it’s a very powerful story."
Directed by Otto Bathurst, Jonathan Liebesman, M. J. Bassett, Roel Reiné and Jet Wilkinson, this new “Halo” offering is penned by writer/producer Kyle Killen ("Lone Star," "Awake")
Showtime will still head up production, in partnership with Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, aboard the project since 2013, and "Halo" developers 343 Industries. Filming of the first season was 55-60% finished before the pandemic brought it to a sudden halt last March.
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"We were on the hunt for signature shows beyond the Star Trek franchise on CBS All Access and were thinking, what could be a defining series for Paramount+," Nevins said (opens in new tab). "Halo always fit the bill, but seeing it, we felt it would work.”
"Halo" stars Pablo Schreiber as the stalwart Master Chief Spartan John-117; Natasha McElhone as Dr. Halsey, the genius creator of the imposing Spartan super soldiers; and Jen Taylor as Cortana, the most advanced AI in human history. Additional talent includes Bokeem Woodbine, Shabana Azmi, Natasha Culzac, Olive Gray, Yerin Ha, and Bentley Kalu.
"It could be a defining show for a newish service that’s got the firepower of an entertainment corporation behind it," Nevins noted (opens in new tab).
"Halo" debuts on Paramount+ sometime in 2022.
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