Halo, after more than eight winding years in development, will finally land at Paramount+ this spring.
The sci-fi drama, which stars Pablo Schreiber as video game icon Master Chief, has gone through a number of hoops to get to the ViacomCBS streaming platform – from switching over from Showtime to Paramount+ to the exit of co-showrunner Kyle Kinnen in 2018. However, executive producers including Kiki Wolfkill and Justin Falvey say that finally launching the series was a product of commitment and patience.
“When you have a piece of IP like this, such massive scale and scope, it takes some time to get it right and the commitment from somebody on Steve’s level or any of the other folks we’ve been talking to…it’s recognizing the realities of that and getting it right and being patient,” said Falvey, who executive produces for Amblin Television. “There’s been a constant of the same people in the same positions that have seen this through and stuck with it and been patient…it’s part of the reason we’re here today.”
Set to premiere March 24 on Paramount+, Halo dramatizes an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant while weaving deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future. The series features Natascha McElhone, Bokeem Woodbine, Yerina Ha, Charlie Murphy, who were also present for the panel.
Halo‘s first season has yet to launch, but will already bid farewell to showrunner and executive producer Steve Kane. During the panel, Kane provided “a pretty simple answer” to his decision to depart the series after its freshman season. Kane said he worked in Hungary for two years to produce on the show, redeveloping and fleshing out some of the work that came before him.
“As much as I enjoyed working on it, it’s a long time to be away from my family, and my kids were in the final years of high school and I din’t want to leave again,” he said. “While making Halo will go down for me as a career highlight, I could only do it for one season.”
When asked about who could helm a potential second season, Falvey brought up David Wiener, who served as a co-producer on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. He added that “Our intention is to produce several seasons of the show.”
The creatives behind the series say Halo draws on the nearly twenty years of mythology and lore that has sprung out of the popular video game franchise. In addition to the wealth of the game’s history, Paramount+’s take on the franchise will also face nearly twenty years’ worth of devoted fans. For gamers, screen adaptations of beloved video game franchises can stick the landing, while others tend to fall flat. For the EPs, the pressure to responsibly adapt the epic first-person shooter is definitely on.
“We get one chance to launch this as a scripted series,” Falvey added. “The bar is incredibly high.”
During the panel Schreiber talked about putting his own spin on Master Chief, working with Halo vet Jen Taylor and more. Halo also features Shabana Azmi, Natasha Culzac, Olive Gray, Bentley Kalu, Kate Kennedy, Danny Sapani, Ryan McParland, Burn Gorman and Fiona O’Shaughnessy.
The series is produced by Showtime in partnership with 343 Industries, along with Amblin Television. Halo is executive produced by Steven Kane, alongside Steven Spielberg, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey for Amblin Television in partnership with 343 Industries, director Otto Bathurst and Toby Leslie for One Big Picture, and Kyle Killen and Scott Pennington for Chapter Eleven. Kiki Wolfkill, Frank O’Connor and Bonnie Ross serve as executive producers for 343 Industries. The series is distributed internationally by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group.
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