'Halo' Director Rupert Wyatt Exits Showtime TV Series

The 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' helmer cited a scheduling conflict for his departure.
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Rupert Wyatt

Showtime's Halo live-action TV series has hit a speed bump.

Director Rupert Wyatt has exited the drama from showrunner Kyle Killen (Awake), the premium cable network announced Monday. 

"It's with great disappointment that changes to the production schedule of Halo prevent me from continuing in my role as a director on the series," Wyatt said in a statement. "My time on Halo has been a creatively rich and rewarding experience with a phenomenal team of people. I now join the legion of fans out there, excited to see the finished series and wishing everyone involved the very best." 

It's unclear what Wyatt has up next. His sci-fi thriller Captive State, starring John Goodman and Vera Farmiga, is due March 29 in theaters.

Showtime in June announced that its long-in-development take on Halo was officially picked up to series, with Killen and Wyatt attached to the 10-episode live-action scripted drama. Wyatt was poised to direct multiple episodes and serve as an executive producer on the project from Showtime, Microsoft/343 Industries and Amblin Television. In making the order, the pay cabler called Halo its "most ambitious series ever."

"Showtime’s adaptation of Halo is evolving beautifully with rich characters, compelling stories and powerful scripts," the network's president of programming Gary Levine said Monday in his own statement. "Obviously, the production demands of this series are enormous, and we have had to add time to the schedule in order to do it right. Sadly, this delay has created a conflict for Rupert, whom we warmly thank for all he has brought to the project." 

Halo is being executive produced by Killen, Wyatt, Scott Pennington and Amblin TV's Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. The show will be distributed globally by Showtime corporate sibling CBS Studios International.

The Halo TV series was first unveiled in 2014, with Xbox Entertainment Studios nearing a deal to develop the take on its wildly popular video game. At the time, the plan called for the effort to bow first on Showtime before moving to Xbox consoles. It's unclear if that is still in the cards.

The Halo video game franchise has sold more than 77 million copies worldwide and grossed more than $5 billion in sales. The Showtime series will take place in the same universe that launched in 2001 and will dramatize an epic 26th century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. Halo will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future, Showtime said. A casting notice obtained by The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the series would feature a live-action version of John/Master Chief, whose face is never fully shown in the games. Instead, the character — an imposing, genetically enhanced supersoldier — is almost exclusively seen in his iconic green armor and helmet.