How Steven Spielberg Helped Get The Halo TV Series Made

Legendary director Steven Spielberg helped get the upcoming "Halo" series made in his own essential, yet unstated way, according to Variety

Being a passionate gamer and massive "Halo" fan himself, Spielberg helped supply show executive producer Kiki Wolfkill and showrunner Steven Kane with copious notes about the expansive, complex "Halo" mythology, which in turn allowed the series to come together. Given the arduous process that went into the creation of the Paramount+ series (Kane wrote upwards of 265 drafts of the first 9 episodes!), Spielberg's aid allowed for the creators to shape a dense, standalone world independent of the narrative continuation of the games.

'This fight... is finished'

The "Halo" series is not a continuation, prequel, or direct adaptation of the acclaimed game series by any means, as the creators intended to forge a standalone entry that is deeply entrenched in the "Halo" mythos while carving a path of its own. This aspect understandably widened the ambit of the creative process massively, as the prospect of incorporating a colossal science fiction saga into an original story can be daunting. The results range from mixed to positive, and the series, while having its merits, does veer into the territory of possessing a borderline generic (and mostly underwhelming) storyline. /Film's Jeremy Mathai delves deeper into these arenas in his review for "Halo," the first two episodes of which premiered ahead of its release at SXSW.

Spielberg was contacted by Don Mattrick, head of Microsoft Xbox's unit at the time, and one thing led to another, precipitating in 343 Industries (home to the "Halo" gaming universe) pitching to Ablin Television presidents Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank, who eventually ended up being executive producers on the show. 

Falvey spoke to Variety about the process of sifting through the "Halo" canon, which was extensive and staggering, to say the least:

"They [343 executives] asked for permission to get in before we came into the room, and they covered a large conference table with the canon of Halo. It was aisles deep. It was incredible."

Pablo Schreiber, who plays supersoldier Master Chief in the series, also commented about the depth of the "Halo" universe, which spans the franchise's many, many offerings, including the games, tie-novels, exhaustive guides, and in-universe encyclopedias:

"The richness and the depth of the universe was immediately kind of mind-boggling. And incredibly exciting, because what it means as a storyteller is that there's already been a huge amount of preparation and groundwork."

Wolfkill also added how they only had "one big swing at this" and had to make sure that they were as meticulous as possible so as to be able to "do it right."

"Halo" will debut on Thursday, March 24, 2022, on Paramount+.