It’s happening ladies and gentleman. More than four years since being put into development, Showtime is officially moving forward with a Halo TV series based on the video game franchise.
The premium cable network announced Thursday that it has picked up 10 episodes of the live-action scripted drama series, with Kyle Killen (Awake) set to serve as exec producer, writer and showrunner. Rupert Wyatt, director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, will direct multiple episodes of the series and serve as an executive producer.
The drama is produced by Showtime and Microsoft/343 Industries and counts Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television among its producers. Production on Halo will begin in early 2019. Showtime CEO David Nevins had this to say in the announcement:
“Halo is our most ambitious series ever, and we expect audiences who have been anticipating it for years to be thoroughly rewarded. In the history of television, there simply has never been enough great science fiction. Kyle Killen’s scripts are thrilling, expansive and provocative, Rupert Wyatt is a wonderful, world-building director, and their vision of Halo will enthrall fans of the game while also drawing the uninitiated into a world of complex characters that populate this unique universe.”
Halo will be executive produced by Killen, Wyatt, Scott Pennington and Amblin TV’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. CBS International will handle global distribution.
The Halo TV series was first announced in 2014, with Xbox Entertainment Studios nearing the deal to develop the take on its wildly popular video game. During that year, the plan called for the series to debut first on Showtime before moving to Xbox consoles. It’s unclear if that is still the plan.
Showtime went on to explain that the series will take place in the same universe that first debuted in 2001 and will dramatize an epic 26th century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. Halo will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future.
Halo brings Showtime back into the highly competitive genre space television is currently in. The series acts as a big swing to counter Amazon Studios’ Lord of the Rings, as well as HBO’s Game of Thrones and Westworld. Helpful for Showtime is the massive preexisting fanbase associated with Halo as the built-in brand recognition will automatically help bring in viewership through an increasingly cluttered scripted landscape.