Earlier this year, audiences got a glimpse at Steven Spielberg’s capabilities of bringing video games to life with Ready Player One and now the legendary director’s company will tackle an iconic gaming franchise. According to The Wrap, which was among the first to report the news Thursday morning, Showtime has announced a 10-episode pickup of a live-action Halo television series, based loosely on the original 2001 Xbox game, Halo: Combat Evolved, which took place much later in the future.
Apparently, the series has been in the works for quite some time, since 2013 to be exact, as Microsoft attempted to create its own original content for the Xbox console – but that failed to happen when Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, took over a year later and elected to scrap the idea altogether. But that wasn’t the end of the concept.
Produced by Showtime, Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Microsoft/343 Industries, the series will be headed by writer Kyle Killen, whose credits include several short-lived TV dramas like Lone Star, Mind Games and Awake. Don’t feel bad if you’re unfamiliar, we had to look two of those up as well. Also on board with the project is Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Gambler director Rupert Wyatt, who will serve as an executive producer for the series and is even supposed to direct several episodes. Scott Pennington, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank, members of Amblin Television, will also executive produce. Like the video game, the series will be set in the distant future and will likely involve a conflict between humanity and The Covenant, a foreign alien threat. No word on whether or not we will see Master Chief, the franchise’s iconic, armored hero in the series but we can only assume he’ll be incorporated.
We're thrilled to share that @Showtime has announced details on a brand-new television series based on the Halo universe, in partnership with @amblin! Check out first details from our own @k_wolfkill. #HaloTV https://t.co/fOPUeHMyF3 pic.twitter.com/hew3TlIt60
— Halo (@Halo) June 28, 2018
“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 of Showtime Networks, in a statement. “In the history of television, there simply has never been enough great science fiction. Killen’s scripts are thrilling, expansive and provocative, 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.”
Production on the series will begin in 2019 and, if it does well, this could have major implications for potentially leading to a feature film surrounding the franchise – it’s certainly ripe for the picking. Over almost two decades, the Halo franchise has grossed more than $5 billion, while selling upwards of 77 million copies worldwide.