Fans of Master Chief will be excited to know that the long-rumoured TV adaptation of Halo looks like it may finally be in sight, with the series officially in production and set to debut within a year.
When will the Halo TV show be released?
Halo will arrive on our screens in 2022, with the show more specifically set to arrive some time in Q1 – i.e. January-March.
Suit up, Spartans! Produced by @SHOWTIME, @Halo will premiere on #ParamountPlus in 2022. pic.twitter.com/4xf8RrmK98
— Paramount+ (@paramountplus)
February 24, 2021
It had been intended to launch earlier than that, with Deadline reporting that over half of the filming had been completed before the start of the pandemic, but the disruption caused by Covid has seen the project delayed.
This isn’t the first time though, as Amblin Television (Steven Spielberg’s production company) first announced it was working on the adaptation back in 2013 as part of Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios, which wanted to providing original media content for the gaming platform.
When that didn’t go anywhere, the show moved to Showtime, but it then underwent a long gestation period, only beginning in earnest a couple of years ago. Finally, Halo made the jump from Showtime to Paramount+, with a release date set for early 2022.
What’s the plot of the Halo series?
There are no official details regarding the plot at the time of writing. We do know that Master Chief is the central character, joined of course by his AI companion Cortana.
There is also Dr Catherine Halsey, who is responsible for the creation of the Spartans (the super-soldiers in Halo, not the scantily clad chaps from 300). Her inclusion may mean that the show will have an origin story for the Spartans, which could be fascinating.
Further characters from the Halo universe include legendary UNSC Naval Captain Jacob Keyes, his (and Halsey’s) daughter Commander Miranda Keyes, and original characters such as Quan Ah (a teenage girl from the Outer Colonies), plus new Spartan warriors. Judging from the line-up, we can expect plenty of action and tragic moments from the Human-Covenant war.
In an interview back in 2018 with IGN Showtime’s head of programming – Gary Levine – stated that, “It is a new story but we are being incredibly respectful of the canon and working with the Microsoft/343 people to be sure we don’t violate any of that.”
He also went on to say, “We made a conscious decision to hire a writer not known for sci-fi and not known for big battle movies, because that’s already baked into the Halo franchise and we will service that, but we also wanted to ensure that we were getting beneath the formidable armor of the Spartans and really getting inside the human drama.”
These sentiments were echoed by Kiki Wolfkill, head of transmedia at 343 Industries (home of the Halo video game franchise), in an official statement:
“As we think about what it means to bring videogame franchises to movie or TV – the biggest challenge can often be finding the right balance between moments fans have already experienced and moments that have yet to be experienced through a different medium, perspective, or creative lens. We are excited to navigate these creative waters to bring you something that is both respectful of what you already know and love, but also new and surprising and enthralling.”
Discussing the switch to Paramount+, David Nevins, the chief creative officer of CBS and chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks, added:
“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… The story is about reclaiming what makes them human, and therefore it’s a very powerful story.”
Who are the cast and crew of Halo?
Pablo Schreiber – Master Chief
Jen Taylor – Cortana
Natascha McElhone – Dr Catherine Halsey
Yerin Ha – Quan Ah
Bokeem Woodbine – Soren-666
Shabana Azmi – Admiral Margaret Parangosky
Danny Sapani – Captain Jacob Keyes
Olive Gray – Miranda Keyes
Charlie Murphy – Makee
Kate Kennedy – Kai-125
Bentley Kalu – Vannek-134
There are nine episodes in the first season, with the directing duties being shared by Jonathan Liebesman (4 episodes), Otto Bathurst (2 episodes), Roel Reine (2 episodes) and Jessica Lowrey (1 episode).
The show will mainly be written by Steven Kane (The Last Ship, The Closer) with Kyle Killen (Mind Games, Awake, Lone Star) also making a substantial contribution.
Once the first season has wrapped production, showrunner Kane will step down (via Variety). Killen departed before production began, and Kane had to step in. Now he wishes to return to his family after being in Budapest for two years.
Therefore, if the Halo show gets picked up for another season, it will be under a different showrunner.
How can I watch the Halo show?
Halo will make its debut on the Paramount+ streaming service in the first quarter of 2022. As there is no way for European viewers or those from other parts of the world to access Paramount+ easily (although it is possible, as you can see in how to watch Paramount+ in the UK) it looks likely that the show will be licensed to another streaming service.
Star Trek: Lower Decks and Picard are both Paramount+ (or CBS All Access as it used to be known) titles, and both made their appearance on Amazon Prime Video in the UK. So, it could be that this becomes Halo’s new home outside the US. Obviously, as more details become available, we’ll update this article so you can be sure you won’t miss any of the action when Spartan boots hit the ground.
In the meantime, you can prepare for battle by playing the latest installment of the videogame franchise, as Halo: Infinite is also on the horizon.
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