The series, which is being prepped for a 2020 telecast, centers on the epic 26th century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. And the iconic muscular astronaut known as Master Chief in the game will in fact be a lead character.
Kyle Killen will serve as Halo‘s executive producer (along with Steven Spielberg), as well as writer and showrunner. His previous credits include Lone Star, with Showtime CEO David Nevins explaining, “We made conscious decision to hire a writer not known for sci-fi or big battle movies. We want to make sure we get the inside human drama.”
The m.o. here is to appeal both to Showtime drama fans as well as the game’s cult following. Halo will be rooted more in the sci-fi genre, not so much fantasy.
Both execs say they have seen early scripts, and the series will be shot on the studio backlot but with multiple locations. “It is an enormous undertaking,” said Levine.
The Showtime exec also told reporters that the series “is a new story,” but they’re working closely with Microsoft 343 “so we make sure we don’t violate” anything that’s in canon.
Showtime is no stranger to sci-fi series: In 1997 they began airing five seasons of Stargate SG-1, an adaptation of the 1994 Roland Emmerich movie. The series ultimately went to the Syfy network in 2002 for seasons 6-10.