Video game adaptations are all the rage right now, especially at the movies. Following up on the success of its 2020 predecessor, “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is currently the talk of the blockbuster world as fans gear up for its April 8, 2022 premiere. However, for as thrilling as some of the impending video game-based theatrical projects are, television’s latest offering is worth a look too. Leading the small screen pack is the somewhat controversial reimagining of the “Halo” game series, which aims to drop on March 24, 2022, via the Paramount+ streaming service.
The “Halo” franchise dates back to November of 2001 when the first installment — the much-beloved “Halo: Combat Evolved” — arrived on the original Xbox console. Since then, a bevy of sequels, merchandise, and other media have come to fruition, all while TV and movie adaptations wound up trapped in development hell. Thankfully, Paramount managed to finally get the ball rolling, and though the program will tell a brand new story, it appears to harbor a lot of love for the source material — rightfully putting video game legend Master Chief center-stage.
As the face of the “Halo” IP, prominently featuring Pablo Schreiber’s take on Master Chief on the Paramount+ series was a no-brainer. Although, seasoned fans of the games may find that the version of the legendary Spartan they’re about to meet isn’t quite the same as the one they’ve played as for decades. Here’s how and why.
The Halo TV series is about self-discovery
Throughout the “Halo” video game series, players have had the chance to effectively become Master Chief as he’s faced down threats big and small. Given the mystery surrounding his physical appearance beneath his armor and his limited dialog, people from all walks of life have been able to make the character their own in their minds. “He’s everybody…Whoever plays the game is him,” “Halo” showrunner Steven Kane told Variety, going on to explain that this is great for a video game medium but isn’t ideal for a television show.
So, to work around the limitations of the video games’ Master Chief, Kane and his team have taken a new approach to the character and his story for the Paramount+ series. “We’re going to tell a story about a man discovering his own humanity,” he said, adding that this allows the audience to watch that journey of self-discovery unfold for themselves. Showtime’s co-president of entertainment, Gary Levine, notes that the crux of Master Chief’s arc explores the question, “What are the costs of turning human beings into killing machines?”
Essentially rebooting a character as iconic as Master Chief couldn’t have been easy for the “Halo” team, and they evidently put a lot of effort into figuring out the best way to do so. Time will tell if this new, live-action interpretation of the super-soldier wins over the dedicated fanbase and franchise newcomers alike.