When “Halo” premieres on Paramount+ later this month, it will mark the end of a long road to the small screen for the legendary video game property. Since the release of the first “Halo” game in 2001, many of Hollywood’s top genre filmmakers have tried to adapt the game into a movie or show, with everyone from Peter Jackson to Alex Garland being attached at one point or another.
The project has languished in development, but it took Steven Spielberg’s involvement to finally get the show off the ground. Spielberg became attached to produce a television adaptation of “Halo” in 2013 through his Amblin Entertainment production company, but the show stalled and was reworked several times before landing at Paramount+. The series was developed by Kyle Killen and Steven Kane, and stars Pablo Schreiber as the famous Master Chief. Jen Taylor also reprises her role as Cortana from the “Halo” games .
Spielberg is credited as an executive producer on the Paramount+ series, and given his busy schedule that included helming “West Side Story” as well as writing and directing the upcoming “The Fabelmans,” it would be easy to assume his title was more of a formality.
Not the case, according to “Halo” executive producer Darryl Frank. In a new interview with Total Film, Frank revealed that Spielberg was heavily involved in the show, and left his mark on nearly every aspect of the series.
“We treated it as though it was a legacy project of Steven’s,” Frank said. “He godfathered it in terms of reading every script, helping choose showrunners, writers, director, cast, production design, and visual effects; every aspect of it, he looked at.”
Given Spielberg’s extensive experience with both science fiction and war movies, the material is firmly within his wheelhouse, as “Halo” focuses on a 26th century war between humans and an alien threat known as the Covenant. The “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” director’s involvement will likely be welcome news to “Halo” fans hoping the series can break the long streak of troubled Hollywood adaptations of beloved video games.
“Halo” is set to premiere on Paramount+ on March 24.