Showtime's Halo TV show has lost producer and director Rupert Wyatt, who has stepped down from the project due to scheduling conflicts. Showtime officially announced the long-rumored Halo series back in June, with Steven Spielberg's Amblin entertainment involved in development. This followed earlier reports saying the show was set to begin filming in Fall 2018.
Halo of course began life as a first-person shooter sci-fi/military game, originally released for Xbox in 2001. The wildly successful game spawned an entire franchise that has grossed $3.4 billion to date. The game has been adapted into novels, comic books and live-action series. A feature film version of Halo was put in development in 2005, with Ex Machina's Alex Garland penning an early script, Peter Jackson on board to produce and Neill Blomkamp attached as director. But in 2007 the project was officially declared dead.
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As reported by Variety, the ongoing saga of Halo has hit another apparent snag, as producer, director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) has stepped away from the project. Wyatt was named in the official series announcement back in June as executive producer and episode director, with Kyle Killen (Mind Games) named as showrunner. Citing "changes in the schedule" as his reason for stepping away, Wyatt expressed his disappointment at having to leave the series, saying, “I now join the legion of fans out there, excited to see the finished series and wishing everyone involved the very best.”
It's not yet clear what implications Wyatt's departure from Halo will have for the series, but his mention of "changes in the schedule" could be seen as a concerning sign. Wyatt had signed on to direct several episodes while also serving as an EP, but clearly he was not able to stay onboard with the show's new schedule, whatever it may be. Wyatt is reportedly working on his own new film project, titled Storm King, details of which are not yet known.
After all the fruitless rumors of TV projects and feature films that have floated out over the years, it would be easy to forgive Halo fans if they greet the news of Wyatt's departure with at least a tinge of dread. Then again, the show does reportedly still have showrunner Killen in place, and no doubt Showtime will shortly be able to replace the outgoing Wyatt. Details on the Halo series are scarce, but the show is expected to run for 10 episodes beginning in 2020 (assuming the new schedule does not lead to a lengthy delay). The series will reportedly follow an original story not from the Xbox games, but will still be headed up by the series' iconic lead character Master Chief.