8:15am PT by Patrick Shanley
Showtime's 'Halo' Series Will Feature Master Chief
Showtime's Halo television series, based on the massively popular video game franchise, is looking for actors to fill out its roster of Space Marines — and one of them will catch diehard fans of the franchise by surprise.
According to casting notices obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the pay cabler's series will feature a live-action version of John/Master Chief, who is described as a Spartan-like warrior of large build. Fans of the franchise are of course familiar with the role, as Master Chief (aka Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John-117) is the primary protagonist of the Halo games.
The revelation is interesting in that Master Chief's 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. It is unlikely the TV version of their character will keep his face hidden under a helmet at all times, particularly as he is listed as a series regular.
Other characters poised to be featured in the series are Dr. Halsey — likely the Dr. Catherine Halsey who appears in 2010's Halo: Reach and 2012's Halo 4 and 2015's Halo 5: Guardians — and Jenny, listed as an Asian woman between the ages of 18-20. There is no major character by the name of Jenny in the games, but Dr. Halsey is a prominent figure in Halo lore.
Dr. Halsey is the creator of the SPARTAN-II program, which produced the elite corps of supersoldiers and their Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor. The casting notice for her character calls for an actress between the ages of 55-65, so it is likely that the series will focus on the later stage of her life when she worked to protect her Spartan creations rather than simply raising them for war.
Halo does not have a premiere date set, but production is slated to begin next June in Budapest. Kyle Killen will serve as executive producer, writer and showrunner on the series.
Showtime declined comment.