A scripted TV drama series based on Microsoft’s massive Halo video game franchise for Xbox is finally really happening.
After being mired in development purgatory for five years, Showtime has announced a project greenlight for 10 episodes — plus hired a showunner and a director.
We’re told Halo (which is the show’s working title for now) 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.”
Kyle Killen (Awake) will serve as executive producer, writer and showrunner, while Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) will direct multiple episodes and also executive produce.
“Halo is our most ambitious series ever, and we expect audiences who have been anticipating it for years to be thoroughly rewarded,” said David Nevins, President and CEO of Showtime. “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.”
Since launching on Xbox in 2001, Halo has sold more than 77 million copies worldwide and grossed more than $5 billion in sales. The series will begin production in early 2019. The series is produced by Microsoft/343 Industries, along with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television (though Spielberg himself is not listed as an executive producer despite being heavily featured in the original announcement back in 2013).
The order comes as several new sci-fi projects are in various stages to become the next great space-based drama series. The Expanse was rescued for a fourth season by Amazon after being axed by Syfy channel. HBO has its J.J. Abrams space drama Demimonde in the pipeline (which announced its showrunner earlier Thursday). And Apple TV has a space race drama coming from Battlestar Galactica showrunner Ron Moore.