Steven Spielberg's HALO Series Will Be Close To R-Rated; New Casting and Characters Revealed
We’ve got some new details to share with you in regards to Showtime and Steven Spielberg’s long awaited Halo series. Pablo Schreiber (American Gods, Orange is the New Black) is set to star in the series in the role of Master Chief and I’m pretty damn excited to see how this show turns out!
Showtime President of Entertainment Gary Levine recently talked about the series and shared some insight that I think fans of the franchise will be interested in knowing. One of the things he revealed is that fans can expect a series that will almost be an R-rated universe, which puts it in the PG-13 category.
“We want to be able to satisfy the gamers, but this is a human portrait, so violence is going to have consequence. It will sort of belong in our PG-13 almost R universe of shows. I’m not sure what age you’re talking about, but again, hopefully we’ll satisfy the gamers and satisfy the Showtime drama watchers.”
I think the perfect example of a film that did a great job walking the line of PG-13 and R was Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. In the end, though, the rating doesn’t really matter, what matters is that the creative team tells a great story and has solid character development.
Master Chief was previously described as “Earth’s most advanced warrior in the 26th century and the only hope of salvation for a civilization pushed to the brink of destruction by the Covenant, an unstoppable alliance of alien worlds committed to the destruction of humanity.”
One of the big questions that fans have been wondering is if Master Chief will show his face in the series. When asked about that, Levine wouldn’t say. All he did say was:
“Wait and see. What I love about Pablo is he has the physicality to be a spartan, to be Master Chief, but he is A), a great dramatic actor and B), he’s got such a twinkle in his eye. He’s so good with wit and comedy. We want Master Chief to have that range and Pablo brings the range.”
So, if they want audiences to see that twinkle in Pablo’s eye, he’s going to have to take off the helmet, right? But, when the twinkle in the eye was brought up Levine said, “Maybe it’s the twinkle in his mask, we’ll see.” I assume that Master Chief will end up taking his helmet off in the series. They just don’t want to start getting fan hate before the series even starts shooting.
Finally, the series will respect the Halo canon. Everything in the video games, the comics, novels, and the previously made series, will all be taken into account as the story for this series plays out. Levin says:
“Hopefully, you’re going to get new information in our series, but we’re not going to violate any of the things in the canon. The good news is, we’ve been working very closely with 343 through the entire development process. They are there both as a resource to tell us stuff we don’t know, and also to make sure we’re not violating anything big in the canon. So we’re doing this with total confidence that the fans are going to embrace what we’re doing.”
As for the casting, Pablo will be joined by newcomer Yerin Ha, who will play a new character within the Halo world named Quan Ah, “a shrewd, audacious 16-year-old from the Outer Colonies who meets Master Chief at a fateful time for them both.”
There are also six new actors that have joined the series and they include Natascha McElhone, Bokeem Woodbine, Shabana Azmi, Bentley Kalu, Natasha Culzac, and Kate Kennedy.
McElhone (Californication) will take on the role of two characters in the series. Dr. Catherine Halsey, "the creator of the Spartan supersoldiers, and Cortana, the most advanced AI in human history, and potentially the key to the survival of the human race.”
Woodbine (Fargo) will play Soren-066, “a privateer at the fringes of human civilization whose fate will bring him into conflict with his former military masters and his old friend, the Master Chief.”
Azmi (Next Of Kin) will play Admiral Margaret Parangosky, “the head of the Office of Naval Intelligence.”
Kalu (Avengers: Age of Ultron) will play a new character for the series, Spartan Vannak-134, “a cybernetically augmented supersoldier conscripted at childhood who serves as the defacto deputy to the Master Chief.”
Culzac (The Witcher) will take on another new role of Spartan Riz-028, “a focused, professional and deadly, cybernetically enhanced killing machine.”
Kennedy (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) will be yet another new character named Spartan Kai-125, “a courageous, curious, and deadly Spartan supersoldier.”
Halo will start shooting later this year in Budapest. The first season will consist of 10-episodes and is scheduled to air in the first quarter of 2021. Multiple episodes of the series will be directed by Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders) from writer Kyle Killen (Awake) who is also serving as executive producer and showrunner.