Showtime has given a 10-episode series order to Halo (working title), an hourlong live-action scripted drama based on the award-winning Xbox video game franchise, from Awake creator Kyle Killen, Rise of the Planet of the Apes helmer Rupert Wyatt and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television.
Killen serves as writer, executive producer and showrunner of the series. Wyatt will direct multiple episodes and also executive produce. Halo (wt) is produced by Showtime in association with Microsoft/343 Industries and Amblin TV. Production is slated to begin in early 2019.
The Amblin TV project 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 has been in discussions at the premium cable network for almost four years, with various creative auspices in talks for it over the years.
Halo has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, having sold more than 77 million copies worldwide and grossing more than $5 billion in sales. In its adaptation for Showtime, Halo 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 will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future.
“Halo is our most ambitious series ever, and we expect audiences who have been anticipating it for years to be thoroughly rewarded,” said David Nevins, President and CEO Showtime Networks. “In the history of television, there simply has never been enough great science fiction. Kyle Killen’s scripts are thrilling, expansive and provocative, Rupert Wyatt is a wonderful, world-building director, and their vision of Halo will enthrall fans of the game while also drawing the uninitiated into a world of complex characters that populate this unique universe.”
In addition to Awake, Killen created and served as showrunner of the TV series Lone Star and Mind Games, and also wrote the Jodie Foster-directed feature The Beaver. In addition to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Wyatt’s film and television credits include the upcoming sci-fi feature Captive State, as well as The Exorcist, The Gambler, Turn: Washington Spies and his debut feature film The Escapist, which was nominated for a British Independent Film Award.
Killen, Wyatt and Scott Pennington will executive produce, along with Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank for Amblin Television. The series will be distributed globally by CBS Studios International.