Today at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, executives from Showtime finally offered some more details on the planned Halo television show. The series has been in development for a long time, but it seems Showtime is poised to finally move forward on it. While previous Halo live-action projects like Halo: Forward Unto Dawn and Halo: Nightfall have put a human face on the property, Showtime confirmed today that the faceless, fearsome soldier, the Master Chief, will be one of the series' lead characters.
Showtime President of Programming Gary Levine told IGN that having a lead without a face "is a key question and an important part of our series."
Halo is aiming for a 2020 release on Showtime and the network has hired former Lone Star and Awake creator and showrunner Kyle Killen to run it. Killen's past credits are light on science fiction, but according to Levine, that was a purposeful choice.
"We made a conscious decision to hire a writer not known for sci-fi and not known for big battle movies, because that's already baked into the Halo franchise and we will service that, but we also wanted to ensure that we were getting beneath the formidable armor of the Spartans and really getting inside the team drama so it felt like it belonged on Showtime," Levine said. "Our hopes and dreams are that it will have enormous appeal to Halo fans and will also appeal to Showtime drama fans."
Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt will be directing multiple episodes in the 10-episode first season. Showtime is going all-in on Halo and they expect it to be big.
"It took us a long time to get the script but we felt like we had something that was really interesting and felt like it belonged on Showtime in terms of its character depth, and it's gonna be a big show," said Showtime President and CEO David Nevins.