'Halo' TV Series Moves From Showtime To Paramount+

Nascent streaming service Paramount+ (which technically isn't very nascent at all since it's just a rebranding of CBS All Access) just landed itself a high-profile title. The Halo TV series, based on the popular video game franchise, was originally destined for Showtime but will now drop on Paramount+ instead. You'll be able to find it there in the first quarter of 2022.

The news about the Halo TV series on Paramount+ came today courtesy of ViacomCBS' Wednesday press conference event showcasing upcoming Paramount+ titles (via Variety). The series is described as "an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. Halo will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure, and a richly imagined vision of the future." The cast includes Pablo Schrieber as Master Chief and Natascha McElhone as two characters: "Dr. Catherine Halsey, the creator of the Spartans soldiers, and Cortana, the most advanced AI in human history who is potentially the key to the survival of the human race," as well as Bokeem Woodbine, Shabana Azmi, Bentley Kalu, Natasha Culzac, Kate Kennedy, Danny Sapani, Olive Gray, and Charlie Murphy.

Halo is inspired by the wildly popular video game series developed by 343 Industries and published by Xbox Game Studios. The first game arrived in 2001 and would launch a series that would become the highest-grossing media franchises of all time, selling over 65 million copies worldwide, with the games alone grossing almost $3.4 billion.

A series that popular is bound to inspire film or TV adaptations, and there has been plenty of talk of both over the years. At one point, Peter Jackson was going to produce a feature film directed by Neill Blomkamp. Guillermo del Toro was also mentioned as a possible director. Various scripts were written, including versions from Alex Garland (Annihilation), D. B. Weiss (Game of Thrones), and Josh Olson (A History of Violence).

The film never came together, and by 2013, a TV series was announced, with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer. In 2018, it was picked up as a 10-episode series at Showtime. Spielberg's Amblin is still involved with the project, but it's changed hands over the years. Rupert Wyatt was attached as director and executive producer, but stepped-down due to scheduling conflicts. Directors currently attached to the series include Otto Bathurst, Jonathan Liebesman, M. J. Bassett, Roel Reiné, and Jet Wilkinson. Kyle Killen and Steven Kane serve as writers and showrunners.