Showtime’s presence at the recent Television Critics Association press tour brought several new details about the upcoming Halo TV series. In particular, it seems Master Chief will play a large part in the story, but he won’t be the only one taking the lead.
According to an interview with IGN, Showtime’s president of programming Gary Levine revealed the iconic marine will indeed be a large part of the 10-episode debut season. However, the production team will be working off of a new story not seen yet in the series that will include additional protagonists while still “being incredibly respectful of the canon.”
While it’s unclear how that could affect Master Chief’s typical role as series lead, it seems the show will replicate one of his defining features. Levine said the character will keep his mask on, making his identity “a key question and an important part of our series, is all I’ll say.”
As for the show in its entirety, Showtime president and CEO David Nevins reportedly shot down the idea that Halo will be the network’s attempt at replicating the success and scope of HBO’s Game of Thrones. “It is a very different genre, it’s futuristic, space-based science fiction, it’s not fantasy,” he said. “It took us a long time to get the script but we felt like we had something that was really interesting and felt like it belonged on Showtime in terms of its character depth, and it’s gonna be a big show.”
Levine also added that the network “made a conscious decision to hire a writer not known for sci-fi and not known for big battle movies.” Instead, the team looked for writers that could get “beneath the formidable armor of the Spartans” to focus on the “team drama.” “As David said, our hopes and dreams are that it will have an enormous appeal to Halo fans and will also appeal to Showtime drama fans,” Levine said.
The more details that emerge about this live-action take on Halo, the more enticing it sounds. Sadly, fans will have to wait quite a while to see footage, as the series isn’t expected to begin shooting until next year. Awake‘s Kyle Killen will serve as the series’ showrunner and writer, while Ruper Wyatt, director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, will helm several episodes.