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Halo is going to have a new home.
The long-gestating live-action adaptation of the beloved video game is moving from premium cable network Showtime to its streaming sibling Paramount+. The news is poised to be announced Wednesday during an investor day focused on the rebranding of ViacomCBS streamer CBS All Access to Paramount+.
The drama, which has two showrunners and has already changed directors and seen its episode count reduced, has been in the works since 2014 and is expected to premiere in early 2022.
The series, based on the Xbox game franchise, revolves around Master Chief, the helmeted super-soldier at the center of the game series. Pablo Schreiber (Orange Is the New Black) will star as the Spartan commando.
Halo was officially picked up to series at Showtime in 2018, with showrunner Kyle Killen and director Rupert 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.”
In 2019, Otto Bathurst (Black Mirror, Robin Hood) took over helming duties two months after Wyatt departed. In March of the same year, Steven Kane (The Last Ship, The Closer) boarded Halo as co-showrunner. Kane serves alongside showrunner Killen (Lone Star, Awake) in the role. Sources at the time said the decision to bring in a second showrunner came directly from Killen, who wanted to focus on the big-budget project’s stateside production — including writing and producing — as he sought a partner who was able to spend the better part of a year in Budapest during physical production on Halo. Killen is expected to be on set but not full time.
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 is unclear if the series will still be available on Xbox as well as on Showtime. 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.
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