Master Chief is coming back for another battle. But he’s not here to dominate video game sales. This time he’ll try to save mankind in an entirely new medium. With Paramount+’s upcoming live-action Halo series. And the Halo show’s first full trailer reminds us why humanity needs Spartan-117. He’s our best hope no matter what kind of screen he appears on. More importantly for fans though, it looks like this war will be one that feels authentic to the franchise. Although, it will have one specific twist on the games. The Halo series will reveal Master Chief’s face.
Paramount+ shared its most in-depth look at its upcoming Halo show as part of this year’s Game Awards. The event was a fitting choice for this Halo trailer. The show looks like a faithful adaption of the games. This is Halo as the fans know and love it.
Pablo Schreiber (American Gods, The Wire) will bring Master Chief to life. Schreiber plays the iconic soldier, “Earth’s most advanced warrior” and its “only hope” for salvation. We hope Master Chief and mankind pull this one out. (Go us!). But mostly we’re just rooting for an entertaining show. And the series’ official synopsis points to a story that will deliver that. From Paramount+:
“Dramatizing an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant, HALO the series will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future.”
Joining Schreiber on the show is Natascha McElhone (Californication). She plays Dr. Halsey, “the brilliant, conflicted and inscrutable creator” of the Spartan super soldiers. Jen Taylor of the Halo games is also returning to once again play Cortana. She’s mankind’s “most advanced AI” ever and “potentially the key to the survival” of humanity. Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo), Shabana Azmi (Fire), Natasha Culzac (The Witcher), Olive Gray (Half Moon Investigations), Yerin Ha (Reef Break), Bentley Kalu (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Kate Kennedy (Catastrophe), Charlie Murphy (Peaky Blinders), and Danny Sapani (Penny Dreadful) round out the cast.
However, in recent news from IGN, we learned the Halo series and games will diverge on one important point, showing Master Chief’s face.
Halo 4 gave fans a very fleeting glimpse of Master Chief’s eyes. But aside from this, the games have never truly revealed what the character looks like without his armor. However, the Halo TV series intends to reveal Master Chief’s face for all to see.
Halo’s executive producer Kiki Wolfkill shared:
I think we set out to tell a character story and a personal story. And once we really got into what that story was, it became clear that you really needed to see the person in the armour and under the helmet.
Wolfkill further explained:
You will see his face. For some people, it’s been a moment 20 years in the making, and for other people it is something that feels very hard to imagine. We absolutely respect both sides of that fence, those who really want to see Chief’s face and those who really don’t. But for the nature of this story, it felt really important to connect with the Master Chief in a different way, and that meant showing the face.
Gasp? It certainly feels like a monumental decision. But TV shows do tend to spend more quality time with their main characters than games often do. And, of course, the Halo series and games don’t inhabit exactly the same universe. So, in some ways, this decision doesn’t affect the games at all. Still, it comes as an interesting choice. But, as Wolfkill makes clear, the team has done their homework and made the best possible decision for the show.
In the meanwhile, we get to see some new faces from the Halo series. Three characters from the upcoming show received new posters. They include posters for Riz-028 played by Natasha Culzac, Vannak 134 played by Bentley Kalu, and Kai-125, played by Kate Kennedy.
— Halo on Paramount+ (@HaloTheSeries) February 23, 2022
So far all we know about these characters is that they are Spartans. Together they make up the Silver Team.
The Halo TV series comes to Paramount+ in 2022. Whether it gets a second season will at least partly depend on whether or not Master Chief saves mankind again. If this show is truly authentic to the game, face or no face, he’ll be back for more.
Originally published on December 29, 2021.