Lots of video games get adaptations; movies, books, TV shows, etc. Unfortunately, very few of those adaptations are good. Just look at the past examples of old Mortal Kombat movies, or Street Fighter. Even video game adaptations that are comparatively good, like Warcraft, are objectively still lackluster.
Maybe the stigma of video game adaptations is what stopped us from getting a real, mainstream TV series or movie for one of the world’s most popular sci-fi first person shooters: Halo. For a series that will have soon been around for two decades, one would expect something like this a lot sooner, but we’re only just now getting a mainstream adaptation from Showtime. The good news is, Showtime seems to be aware of how important it is to appeal to the fans of the games if they want to be successful. After all, it isn’t hard to figure who the main audience will be.
At the TCA press tour, Showtime Networks co-president Gary Levine assured the press that they cared about meeting the expectations of the fans:
“The good news is we’ve been working very closely with 343 [Studios] through the entire development process. And 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.”
On the other hand, he did note that the graphic content of the show will be the same as most other Showtime series at PG-13. This is mildly disappointing considering the nature of Halo and its plasma based weaponry or exploding needles, but then again, the Halo games themselves have never been especially graphic. Blood splatters of various colors was about as intense as things got. Even so, Gary Levine promised that violence would have consequence in the show, which is probably good considering Halo is about a galactic interspecies war.
And then there is the most important question of all: will we see the Master Chief’s face? When Levine was asked about that around a year ago, he only said that the potential unmasking was “a key question and an important part of our series.”
But while we don’t know if his face will be revealed, we do already know who the actor will be; Pablo Schreiber. When asked why Schreiber was selected for the role, Levine said “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 eyes. [He’s] so good with wit and comedy. And we want the Master Chief to have that range. And Pablo brings the range.”
Production of the TV series doesn’t begin until the fall, and it is slated for debut in 2021.