Halo will join the stars of the Paramount+ galaxy.
Deadline reports ViacomCBS announced the change during a Television Critics Association presentation on Wednesday, which speaks to the changing climate of media conglomerates: streaming is king.
The program stars Pablo Schreiber stars as Master Chief with Danny Sapani as Jacob Keyes, Olive Gray as Miranda Keyes, Bokeem Woodbine as Soren-066, Shabana Azmi as Admiral Margaret Parangosky, Natascha McElhone as Dr. Catherine Halsey, and Cortana voice Jen Taylor reprising her role from the game series. Though the TV version will chronicle the war between humanity and the Covenant, it is unclear if it will be a straight adaptation of the Halo games or a re-imagining a la Netflix’s The Witcher.
During the presentation, CBS Chairman and Chief Creative Officer David Nevins said the program “delivers the visceral excitement of playing the game, along with a much deeper emotional experience around the Spartans, human beings who got their humanity chemically and genetically altered … the story is about reclaiming what makes them human, and therefore it’s a very powerful story.”
Nevins, who also serves as CEO of Showtime Networks within the ViacomCBS conglomerate, said the decision to move Halo to Paramount+ came after screening of early footage from its pre-pandemic production block. What he saw fit with the company’s aim to find “signature shows” outside of the Star Trek universe. “Halo always fit the bill but seeing it, we felt it would work,” he said. Also, oddly enough, moving the series to Paramount+ means Showtime maintains itself as a home for so-called “adult dramas” set in contemporary, non-fantastical settings.
Which is an interesting notion as most streamers enjoy healthy mix of genre shows and adult dramas. Nonetheless, strengthening ViacomCBS’s brand identities does make sense if they expect consumers to pay a separate fee for Showtime’s programming. Although, it is always possible they will see the wisdom of folding Showtime into Paramount+. As we said earlier, streaming is king.