Showtime’s Halo has found its new director in British helmer Otto Bathurst (Black Mirror, Robin Hood). After a lengthy search, Bathurst has been tapped to direct the series based on the popular Xbox video game franchise.

Bathurst will helm multiple episodes and will executive produce the live-action series, which has Kyle Killen (Awake) serving as writer, executive producer and showrunner. Produced by Showtime in partnership with 343 Industries, along with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television, Halo, which has an initial nine-episode order, will begin production later this year.

Halo Showtime
Showtime

Filming was originally skated to start in early 2019 but was pushed when Rupert Wyatt, who had been announced as director/executive producer at the time of Halo‘s official greenlight in June, exited in early December as preliminary casting on the show had begun. For the past month, Showtime’s executives and the series’ producers met with a number of potential replacements, ultimately going with Bathurst.

As for Halo‘s Season 1 episode count, originally listed as 10 episodes in June, I hear Killen and the writers arrived at 9 episodes after mapping out the season and breaking the stories.

A Halo TV series was originally announced in 2013 as one of the big series to launch XBox’s original content effort. It moved to Showtime shortly after XBox Entertainment Studios was shut down in 2014 and had been in the works at the premium cable network for almost four years, with various creative auspices in talks to join for it over the years, including a number of A-list directors who circled the series.

Halo, an adaptation of the Xbox video game, will take place in the universe that first came to be in 2001, dramatizing an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant.

Halo is executive produced by Killen and Scott Pennington for Chapter Eleven, Bathurst and Toby Leslie for One Big Picture and Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank for Amblin Television in partnership with 343 Industries. The series will be distributed globally by CBS Studios International.

Bathurst’s film and television credits include directing last year’s feature Robin Hood (starring Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx), the upcoming fantasy television series His Dark Materials as well as Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror and Criminal Justice.