With Game of Thrones coming to an end, networks across the board are looking for the next big epic series to fill its shoes. Amazon Prime has Lord of the Rings; HBO is knees-deep in Westworld; and Showtime is hard at work on a series based on the Halo franchise, a series of sci-fi shooter video games developed by Xbox Game Studios. The network is now one step closer to making the live-action series a reality with the casting of its lead.
According to Deadline, Showtime has tapped Pablo Schreiber to play Master Chief. The cable network describes the character as “Earth’s most advanced warrior in the 26th century and the only hope of salvation for a civilization”. The Covenant, “an unstoppable alliance of alien worlds committed to the destruction of humanity,” will serve as the show’s villains. You know Schreiber for his work as Nick Sobotka on The Wire, George “Pornstache” Mendez on Orange Is the New Black, and Mad Sweeney in American Gods.
It’s time to suit up! @schreiber_pablo has been enlisted as Master Chief. He’ll play the iconic Spartan super soldier and humanity’s last hope against the alien Covenant in our upcoming series, #Halo. #Showtime pic.twitter.com/RP9W5bRV4q
— Showtime (@Showtime) April 17, 2019
In addition to Schreiber, the show has cast newcomer Yerin Ha as a new character in the Halo universe. A teen from the Outer Colonies, the character Quan Ah, “meets Master Chief at a fateful time for them both”. Ha is a theatre actor from Australia who recently starred in the Sydney Theatre Company’s adaptation of Lord of the Flies.
For those unfamiliar, Halo takes place in the 26th Century during an interstellar war between the human race and aliens called the Covenant. Master Chief is from a group of super-soldiers called Spartans who fight the Covenant in a series of sprawling battles. It’s unclear how much the series will follow or change about the games’ mythology.
Kyle Killen and Steven Kane are Halo‘s showrunners and Killen is also writing and executive producing the series. Showtime is producing the show with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and 343 Industries. Otto Bathurst, who has previously worked on Peaky Blinders and Black Mirror, will direct several episodes. Filming begins this fall in Budapest, Hungary.
Images: Xbox Game Studios, Microsoft