It is no longer Hollywood who are attempting to move ahead with the (potentially cursed) practice of adapting video games into other mediums. Showtime have now joined the fun, as they have announced a 10-episode series based on the popular Halo video game.
To be fair, the project had been announced a while ago – four years to be exact – but sat in development hell that whole time as creators tried to figure out a way to adapt the popular Xbox series for TV. They seem to have finally cracked it. The 10-episode series will be a live-action drama and showrunner, writer and executive producer of the series will be Kyle Killen (Awake, Mind Games).
Joining Killen will be Rupert Wyatt (The Exorcist) who will direct several episodes of the series and also serve as executive producer. Production on the series is expected to kick off in early 2019. Showtime CEO David Nivens had this to say about 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 enthral fans of the game while also drawing the uninitiated into a world of complex characters that populate this unique universe”.
Halo has been the flagship franchise on the Xbox console since the launch of Halo: Combat Evolved in November 2001. A science fiction first-person shooter, the games put players into the role of Master Chief, a recurring soldier character who is the centre of the series which has evolved into several games, novels and comics.
Within the game, Master Chief and other biochemically enhanced supersoldiers protect humanity against an insidious alien alliance known as The Covenant. Armed with a series of weapons and future-tech vehicles, the supersoldiers run headlong into battle with the hope of saving humanity one alien death at a time. The video game series has sold over 77 million copies.
The series has been a long time coming and while video game adaptations haven’t got the best track record, as mentioned above, perhaps adapting something like Halo into a series instead of a movie is the way to go.
Although video game adaptations often fail because they lack much of a story – and thus stretching it out over ten episodes would ostensibly seem like an even worse idea – it will give the creators time to develop characters without eschewing the kind of action fans also want.
Film adaptations often try to have their cake and eat it too, wanting to capture the essence of the game while also developing characters that often aren’t particularly fleshed out in action-centric games. Hopefully this avenue will allow Halo to become a success. Gamers around the world cross their fingers.