The Showtime Halo TV Show is something that fans of the long-running first-person shooter series have been eagerly awaiting for what seems like decades at this point, after man starts and stops, we're nearly on the cusp of seeing Master Chief John-117, the iconic Spartan, take over our television screens like it's 2001 all over again.
A lot of time has passed since we all got word that a Halo TV show was finally happening, and even longer since a television adaptation of the revolutionary video game was first announced to be in the works, so it's safe to say that there is a lot to go over as we look toward the upcoming release of the Showtime series. That being said, here are eight quick things we know about the Halo TV show.
The Halo TV Show Is Expected To Be Released In 2021
Shortly before production began on the Halo TV show back in late 2019, Variety reported that it would be ready for release at some point in the first quarter of 2021, which is anywhere from two to four months away, depending on the month of release. And although there hasn't been any word from Showtime or the show's producers to say otherwise at this point, this could always change, considering the extensive delays experienced by the production team due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year. Whether or not the first quarter is still in the cards remains to be seen, but until we hear from Showtime about a delay, it looks like we'll still get to see Master Chief, in some capacity in 2021.
Pablo Schreiber Will Play Series Lead Master Chief
You can't have a Halo TV Show without Master Chief, and the iconic character who quickly became the unofficial mascot of the Microsoft Xbox immediately following the release of the first game in the series back in 2011 will be played by none other than Pablo Schreiber. You may recognize Schreiber as George "Pornstache" Mendez from Orange Is the New Black, Mad Sweeney from American Gods, or even Nickolas "Nick" Sobotka on The Wire, but you'll soon know him as Master Chief.
The announcement that Pablo Schreiber would be playing the legendary Spartan in the upcoming Showtime series came from The Hollywood Reporter in April 2019 when it was revealed that suiting up in the signature armor of the super-soldier, but there was no word at the time as to whether or not he would remain masked throughout the entire series much like Pedro Pascal's Mando in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian.
Cortana Will Be Portrayed By The Same Voice Actress From The Games
Up until November 2020, Natascha McElhone was going to be pulling double duty as Cortana and the AI's creator Dr. Catherine Halsey, but as IGN first reported, the actress had to pull out of the Cortana role due to scheduling conflicts created by the COVID-19 pandemic. As sad it was to see someone with McElhone's talent no longer being able to voice one of the most important characters in the series, her replacement isn't so bad. According to that same IGN report, Jen Taylor, the voice actress who portrayed Cortana in all of the mainline Halo games will be stepping in and taking over the role she made famous 19 years ago.
A Lot Of The Halo TV Show Was Filmed Prior To Production Shutting Down In Early 2020
Principal photography for Showtime's Halo TV show began back in November 2019 when the cast and crew set out for Budapest. A considerable amount of the show was filmed during the first stint of production before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the producers to stop filming and send everyone home. Though he wouldn't say how many of the episodes ended up getting filmed between late 2019 and early 2020, the star of the Halo TV show, Pablo Schreiber explained during a conversation with Collider over the summer that they were well into shooting the first season and that it was going "very, very well."
After months of not being able to reenter production, things finally kicked back up for Showtime's Halo TV Show November 2020, when the show's official Twitter account posted the following picture of star Pablo Schreiber donning Master Chief's iconic mask (well, at least the bottom portion of his mask to ensure safety measures were in effect):
How much of the Halo TV show still needs to be filmed remains to be seen, but just a little peek at the show's Master Chief is more than enough to hold Halo fans over until there is more announced.
The Halo TV Show Will Tell An All New Story Faithful To The Game's Canon
Halo fans afraid the upcoming Showtime series would be nothing but a retelling of the events of the first game or others in the franchise will be happy to hear that it appears that won't be the case. Back in August 2019, Showtime president Gary Levin told Deadline that while the Halo TV show will be faithful to the video game series' canon, it will be exploring new drama within that universe. The head of the premium cable network also told the outlet that they are working hand-in-hand with 343 Industries (the studio responsible for the games since 2007), so that nothing comes as a disservice to the source material.
More Than $41 Million Has Already Been Spent On The Production Of The Halo Show
It sounds like Showtime's Halo TV show will have nice production value (or at least very well-paid actors), as the production spent more than $41.3 million on its shoot in Budapest, Hungary. This figure was reported in a spending report carried by Variety in June 2020 and didn't even take into account any reshoots that may be filmed elsewhere or any of the post-production work that will certainly be required to tie it all together. Now, this doesn't compare to shows like Game of Thrones or even The Crown, which both have had a history of large-figure budgets for each season. That being said, the Halo TV show sounds like it's going to be quite pleasing for the eyes, at least.
Showtime Originally Ordered A Total Of 10 Episodes, But That Has Since Been Reduced
When Showtime first announced the Halo TV show back in 2018, the network revealed it had ordered a 10-episode season based on the iconic video game franchise. At some point between that initial announcement and early 2019, however, the episode count was trimmed down to nine episodes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It remains to be seen if shooting delays will cause the show to trim any additional episodes, but be on the lookout for updated information as we get closer to the show's release.
That about catches up with things we know about Showtime's Halo TV show. If you want to know more about other shows coming to your television screen the rest of 2020 or in the first few months of 2021, don't work because we've got you covered here at CinemaBlend.