In May of 2013, 343 Industries boss Bonnie Ross and former Xbox Entertainment Studios President Nancy Tellem announced that a live-action television series based on the massively popular Xbox exclusive video game series Halo was in development for Showtime. Ross and Tellem also announced that Steven Spielberg would have a large role in developing the series, which was originally going to debut when Halo 5: Guardians was released in October of 2015. Unfortunately, however, that did not happen.
Since then, we have heard extremely little about the series. There have been many setbacks along the road to the small screen. First of all, Xbox Entertainment Studios was closed down in the summer of 2014 after layoffs at Microsoft which also saw Tellem exit the company. Also, the live-action digital webseries Halo: Nightfall, which featured Luke Cage star Mike Colter among others and was available as bonus content on the Halo: The Master Chief Collection (which collected the first four games in the Halo series) was not met with a postive response from fans.
However, development of the series did not end there. Over the years, 343 Industries has continued to affirm that the Halo television series was still happening and they have done so once again as AR12 Gaming has reached out to Microsoft to find out if the show was still in development. Here is a statement given by a spokesperson who represents 343 Industries:
“Progress on the Halo Television Series continues. We want to ensure we’re doing this the right way together with a team of creative partners (Steven Spielberg and Showtime) that can help us build the best Halo series that fans expect and deserve. We have no further details to share at this time.”
The above statement seems to verify that nothing has really changed as far as Spielberg’s involvement or the intended destination, Showtime. Everyone involved is still trying to make it work. It may still be some time before we finally see Master Chief in all his live-action glory, but the project is not completely dead yet, so that’s somewhat assuring.
This series is not the first time a live-action adaptation of the Halo series was attempted. In fact, Hollywood has been trying to get Halo on the big screen ever since the first game, Halo: Combat Evolved, debuted in 2001 on the original Xbox system. The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson was attached as an executive producer for quite some time. Ex Machina writer/director Alex Garland and Game of Thrones co-developer D.B. Weiss both wrote different drafts of the script. At one point, District 9 helmer Neil Blomkamp was going to direct the film, but he revealed in 2009 that the project was dead. Hopefully, Steven Spielberg is the man to finally get the job done.
Source: AR12 Gaming