Showtime is finally making the long-anticipated Halo TV series a reality, but what could be the show's plot? There have been plans to adapt the popular video-games into a live-action format for over a decade. As far back as 2005, Columbia Pictures signed up to a film adaptation, with Peter Jackson as executive producer and Neil Blomkamp as director. Unfortunately, the film entered Development Hell, and by 2007 Blomkamp was declaring the project dead.
In 2013, Amblim, 343 Industries, and Showtime announced that they were moving ahead with a Halo TV series. A year later, Microsoft's new leader Phil Spencer shut down their Entertainment Studios division, canceling plans to develop original video programming for the Xbox systems. The Halo TV series was believed to have been killed off as a result - until last year, when rumblings began to suggest that the series was still in the works. Those have now been confirmed, with Showtime signing up for a 10-episode first season. Kyle Killen (Awake) is attached as executive producer and showrunner, while Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) is also serving as an executive producer and writer for the series.
Related: Halo Infinite Teaser Trailer
Until now, it's generally been believed any Halo TV series would essentially be a spinoff, an adventure set in the Halo universe but starring original characters - including, most likely, at least one Spartan. But is that necessarily the case? There's no reason one medium can't be adapted into another; with good-quality writers, novels and even video-games can be turned into strong TV shows. Just take a look at the success of Game of Thrones as the ultimate example. So, could the Halo TV series actually star the Master Chief, and explore the full story of the Earth-Covenant War? Here's how we see it going down.
- This Page: Seasons 1 & 2: Establish The Halo Lore
- Page 2: Seasons 3 & 4: The Human-Covenant War
Season 1: The Fall of Reach and the Rise of the Master Chief
The Halo franchise may be best known for video games, but it's long since broadened out beyond that. In fact, the wider story of the Halo universe has already been explored in a range of popular novels, the most important probably being Eric Nylund's Halo: The Fall of Reach. This essentially serves as a prequel to the first Halo game, and opens with the backstory of the Spartan program. As the plot progresses, we see the first encounter between humans and the alien races known as the Covenant, and the Spartans acquit themselves well in those initial brutal clashes. All that leads up to a Covenant attack on the planet Reach, one of humanity's most important military worlds.
Nylund's novel was a tremendous success, establishing the canon backstory of the Master Chief and revealing just how dangerous the Covenant really were, selling over one million copies, and kickstarting the entire Halo novel franchise. The story has already been adapted for a number of different mediums, and parts of the plot formed the basis for the Halo: Reach game.
Halo Season 1 could be adapted from Nyland's novel, humanizing the Master Chief and establishing him as a character in his own right rather than just an unrelenting warrior. It's possible the show could take dramatic license, weaving the Master Chief's backstory into flashback sequences while focusing in on the main plot - the war between humanity and the Covenant. This would lead to a dramatic season finale, one in which the Covenant glassed the entire planet Reach, and the Pillar of Autumn jumped into slipspace - only to emerge next to the first Halo ring and making for a major cliffhanger ending.
Season 2: Discovering the Halo Rings
Season 2 would then explore the classic Halo story; the discovery of the first Halo Ring, the desperate battle to prevent the Ring's being triggered, and the horrific onslaught of the Flood. Naturally, the story would need to be subtly changed; after all, you can't simply translate the game straight to the small screen. The plot could draw inspiration from William C. Dietz's novelization of the first game, Halo: The Flood.
This season would end with the destruction of the first Halo Ring. A cool end sequence would be a cutaway scene revealing that 343 Guilty Spark has survived the destruction of the installation - and he could perhaps even mutter to himself about the other Rings.