By James Hibberd
August 02, 2019 at 01:57 PM EDT
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  • Video Games

Showtime’s long-anticipated Halo TV series just announced five new cast members — including two who are playing characters familiar to players of the Xbox franchise.

First up among the new castmembers is Natascha McElhone (Californication) who will play two characters in the show: “Dr. Catherine Halsey, the brilliant, conflicted and inscrutable creator of the Spartan supersoldiers and Cortana, the most advanced AI in human history, and potentially the key to the survival of the human race.”

Next is Bokeem Woodbine, who was an Emmy nominated scene-stealer in Fargo season 2, who will play “Soren-066, a morally complex privateer at the fringes of human civilization whose fate will bring him into conflict with his former military masters and his old friend, the Master Chief.”

Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images; Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Plus the show is introducing three characters that are new to the Halo universe: Shabana Azmi (Fire) will play Admiral Margaret Parangosky, the head of the Office of Naval Intelligence, Bentley Kalu (Avengers: Age of Ultron), “Spartan Vannak-134, a cybernetically augmented supersoldier conscripted at childhood who serves as the defacto deputy to the Master Chief,” Natasha Culzac (The Witcher) as “Spartan Riz-028 – a focused, professional and deadly, cybernetically enhanced killing machine,” and Kate Kennedy (Catastrophe) as “Spartan Kai-125, an all-new courageous, curious and deadly Spartan supersoldier.” 

They join Pablo Schreiber (American Gods), who was previously announced as starring as the Master Chief Spartan John-117.

According to Showtime, Halo “will take place in the universe that first came to be in 2001, dramatizing 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.”

The Halo series was in development for five years before being greenlit a year ago. Showtime has dubbed it the cable network’s “most ambitious series ever.” 

The show will air in the first quarter of 2021.

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