The Halo TV series is finally out after going through various development struggles since 2013, and based on what Paramount revealed so far, it looks like the show is going to be fantastic. The first-ever big budget live-action Halo adaptation marks Master Chief's first appearance in a show since 2012's Forward Unto Dawn, the sci-fi web series set in the world of the Halo universe.
Originally announced in 2013, with plans to release it on Showtime in 2015, the Halo TV series was pushed back multiple times before it was finally moved to Paramount+, and now, we finally have a release date, trailers, and other details about this highly-anticipated military sci-fi series based on the lore of the popular Xbox/PC games and novels.
Table of Contents
- Halo TV Series Release Date: When will it premiere on Paramount+?
- Halo TV Series Trailers: How many trailers are out now?
- Halo TV Series Cast: Who's playing Master Chief, Cortana, and other characters?
- Halo TV Series Plot: What will the sci-fi story be about?
- How many episodes of the Halo TV series will there be?
- Where can I watch the Halo TV series?
- Will Halo TV series get a Season 2?
- Why did the creators of the Halo TV series redesign Cortana?
- Is Steven Spielberg involved in the Halo TV series?
Here's everything we know so far about the Halo TV series:
Halo TV Series Release Date: When will it premiere on Paramount+?
During the CBS broadcast of the AFC Chamionship football event, a trailer for Paramount+'s Halo TV series premiered at the halftime, and it revealed that the show is set to premiere on March 24, 2022.
Update: The first episode of Halo, titled Contact, is now available to stream on Paramount+.
The first two episodes of Halo will also be hitting select theaters. The special screening is a part of a collaboration between Collider and Alamo Drafthouse, which will host the event on March 23 in Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, and New York City. After showing the first two episodes in theaters, attendees will also be able to watch a Q&A with the show's cast and producers. Starting Friday, March 11, Collider editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub will be giving tickets away for the event, and he will be getting the names of potential winners over the following days.
Weintraub shared the news on Twitter, as shown in the tweet below:
Halo TV Series Trailers: How many trailers are out now?
Right now, fans can watch two trailers for the Halo TV series. The first one premiered live at The Game Awards 2021, and another trailer was released that featured Spartans, Covenant, and more. You can watch both trailers below:
On March 14, Paramount+ released a new trailer featuring a bunch of fresh footage of the Spartans' war against the Covenant. We get to see more of Master Chief in action as a closer look at the villains, including one of the Prophets featured in Halo 2.
Halo TV Series Cast: Who's playing Master Chief, Cortana, and other characters?
The main cast of the Halo TV series include:
- Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief Petty Officer John-117
- Jen Taylor as Cortana
- Natascha McElhone as Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halsey
- Shabana Azmi as Admiral Margaret Parangosky
- Danny Sapani as Captain Jacob Keyes
- Olive Gray as Miranda Keyes
- Kate Kennedy as Kai-125
- Natasha Culzac as Riz-028
- Bentley Kalu as Vannak-134
- Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha Boo
- Charlie Murphy as Makee
- Bokeem Woodbine as Soren-066
On Feb. 23, the official social media accounts of the Halo TV series revealed new photos featuring the three members of the Silver Team: Natasha Culzac as Riz-028, Bentley Kalu as Vannak-134, and Kate Kennedy as Kai-125.
On March 1, the show's official social media accounts shared a new poster featuring Master Chief.
Halo TV Series Plot: What will the sci-fi story be about?
The Halo TV series is said to be taking place in the "Silver Timeline", an alternate canon that's similar to the core timeline of the video games and novels, but different enough that the showrunners can have the freedom to create a story they want to share without being restricted by the events of the main timeline. Despite this, Jen Taylor will make the jump from games to the TV screen to reprise the role of Cortana.
Based on the trailers and details revealed so far, we know that the story will largely focus on Master Chief and Cortana, as well as their group of Spartan and UNCSC allies, as they battle the alien Covenant Empire that seeks to exterminate humanity during the Human-Covenant War. The high-ranking leaders of the UNSC are apparently suspicious of Master Chief, suggesting that there will be a conflict between the heroic Spartan and his commanders at some point during the live-action series.
The trailer reveals that at some point, the story will shift focus to a Halo ring, one of the artificial worlds created by an ancient alien species known as the Forerunners thousands of years ago to wipe out most life in the galaxy and defeat a relentless parasite known as the Flood.
In the Halo video games, Master Chief destroys the first ring he comes across to prevent the Covenant from controlling it; in the live-action series, it looks like the protagonist wants to use a Halo ring to win the war against the Covenant.
One of the most interesting characters featured in the show is Makee, human a woman raised by the Covenant and appears to be working with the alien empire. In the trailer, she is seen arguing that humanity should surrender to the Covenant while she's unleashing Lekgolo worms, one of Covenant's alien species, on the soldiers of UNSC.
The show will also reveal Master Chief's face for the first time in the history of the franchise.
During an interview with Ryan McCaffrey as part of IGN Fan Fest, 343 Industries’ Studio Head of Transmedia and Halo's executive producer, Kiki Wolfkill, explained why showing Master Chief's face was important for the story the series will tell.
“I think we set out to tell a character story and a personal story,” she said. “And once we really got into what that story was, it became clear that you really needed to see the person in the armour and under the helmet.”
“You will see his face,” she said. “For some people, it’s been a moment 20 years in the making, and for other people it is something that feels very hard to imagine. We absolutely respect both sides of that fence, those who really want to see Chief’s face and those who really don’t. But for the nature of this story, it felt really important to connect with the Master Chief in a different way, and that meant showing the face.”
During a March 2022 interview with THR, Pablo Schreider said that the success of Disney+’s The Mandalorian isn’t seen as a threat.
“I was like, ‘OK, great, there’s a precedent and people are hungry for this genre and this material — because there is definitely overlap — and the success they had bodes well for us,” he said. “Also, The Mandalorian is always helmeted and has to remain that way. In Halo, the Spartans take their helmet off a ton — it’s only Master Chief’s face you haven’t seen before.”
How many episodes of the Halo TV series will there be?
Showtime initially ordered a Halo TV series with 10 hour-long episodes, a typical season length for big-budget prestige TV shows these days. However, that order has since been decreased to 9 episodes.
Where can I watch the Halo TV series?
The Halo TV series will exclusively be available to stream on Paramount+ when it's released. Paramount hasn't announced any plans to make the series available anywhere else, but it's extremely unlikely. Subscriptions for Paramount+ start at $4.99 per month.
Will Halo TV series get a Season 2?
Yes! On Feb. 15, Paramount renewed the live-action Halo TV series just over a month before the premiere of the first season. In a press release, Dave Weiner (who's work on shows like Brave New World, Homecoming, and The Walking Dead) will act as showrunner and executive producer for Season 2. This was announced during an investor event, where Viacom CBS also revealed that it's rebranding as Paramount as part of its focus on streaming.
Why did the creators of the Halo TV series redesign Cortana?
The creators of Paramount+'s Halo TV series have responded to Cortana's controversial redesign explaining that they wanted Master Chief's AI companion to feel "very tangible" on the live-action series.
Speaking to GamesRadar+, Kiki Wolfkill, a studio head at 343 and Halo's executive producer, was asked about the reaction to Cortana's new look in the Halo TV show, and he explained that the decision was partly driven by technology, as the team likes to use the latest tools to make considered design choices, just like how they worked throughout the decades-spanning video game series.
"It's so funny, because we change her design for every game. And a lot of that is driven by technology," Wolfkill explained. "A lot of the design changes as we progress[ed] through the game generations was because we had access to better graphics, technology, more pixels, and more effects. And so it's always been about adapting Cortana to the environment.
"In this situation, it's so very different from the games in that she has to feel real," Wolfkill added. "And by that, I don't mean feel like a real human. She has to feel like a real AI, a real hologram, and be a character that real people are acting against… That was really the impetus in designing her – how do we make her feel very tangible in this Halo world?"
Speaking to Variety, showrunner Steven Kane discussed the video games' influence's on the TV show. "We didn't look at the game. We didn't talk about the game. We talked about the characters and the world. So I never felt limited by it being a game," he explained.
Is Steven Spielberg involved in the Halo TV series?
Yes! While we already know that the Halo live-action series that will be premiering on the Paramount Plus streaming service later this month is coming from Spielberg's company Amblin Television, that wouldn't necessarily mean that the legendary filmmaker had a lot to do with the series, but speaking to Total Film (via GamesRadar), Halo Executive Producer Darryl Frank revealed that Spielberg was heavily involved when it came to the development of the series.
"We treated it as though it was a legacy project of Steven’s," he said. "He godfathered it in terms of reading every script, helping choose showrunners, writers, director, cast, production design, and visual effects; every aspect of it, he looked at.”
Frank didn't elaborate beyond that, but what he said seems to show the legendary filmmaker's commitment to the live-action series. Spielberg was involved in the project's early days in 2013 and stayed on despite multiple production delays and staffing changes in the following years. Now, almost a full decade later, the Halo show is finally premiering on Paramount+.