Showtime takes another step forward in bringing Halo to life in a live-action TV series by hiring the director of 2018’s Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx-led Robin Hood film to helm several episodes and serve as executive producer. The news comes months after the planned series lost producer and director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) to scheduling conflicts. Now that the initial setback of Wyatt’s departure has been remedied, it appears the ambitious TV project is one step closer to becoming a reality.
Bathurst joins a project that has been years in the making, with several attempts to render the best-selling video game franchise into a movie or television series failing to come to fruition. In addition to a purported feature film adaptation that was to be written by Ex-Machina and Annihilation writer-director Alex Garland and directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9), there was also a TV series that was intended to be part of an original content push by Microsoft for the Xbox. Neither came to pass, and now the series will be part of Showtime’s push to create a Game of Thrones-sized hit, and they’re doing so with the help of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Awake creator Kyle Killen.
Killen will serve as writer, producer, and showrunner on the series, while Bathurst will reportedly direct several episodes of the nine-episode first season, as well as function in the role of executive producer. The news of Bathurst’s arrival on the series comes in conjunction with a firm confirmation of how many episodes fans can expect when the series finally premieres. As far as selling the series, Showtime may find it has an easy go of things, as part of the premium cabler’s official announcement describes just how big a global property Halo actually is.
“Halo reinvented how people think about video games and has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, having sold more than 77 million copies worldwide and grossing more than $6 billion in lifetime total sales revenue. In its adaptation for 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.”
After the release of Robin Hood, Bathurst finds himself moving back to television for his future projects. In the past, the director has helmed episodes of Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders and will be working on the upcoming television adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Although the most recent rendition of the archer who steals from the rich and gives to the poor failed to connect with critics or moviegoers, it seems Bathurst’s skills as a director are nevertheless in high demand.
Halo is expected to begin production in 2019. The series will air on Showtime.