Unveiled during the 2021 Game Awards ceremony on December 9, the one-minute long video shows us how faithful Paramount and Amblin Television’s live-action adaptation will be to the iconic game franchise.
We get solid glimpses of Pablo Schreiber in his full Master Chief costume a look at what appears to be New Mombasa – the city that was decimated in Halo 2 and Halo: ODST – in all its glory, and plenty of nods to other fan favorite Halo elements, including shots of Pelican ships, Natascha McElhone’s Dr. Catherine Halsey and other Spartans.
Check out the official teaser for the Halo TV series below:
As delightfully faithful as the Halo TV show looks – current Halo game developer 343 Industries are also involved in it – though, what’s more intriguing is how it appears to be paralleling The Mandalorian, the acclaimed Star Wars spin-off show that exclusively streams on Disney Plus.
Both productions are sci-fi shows at heart, but The Mandalorian also draws heavily from the Western film genre with many of its characters, themes and aesthetic. We have a lone gunslinger in Pedro Pascal’s titular character, desert settings and sandy locations, plenty of Mexican stand-offs, and a overarching seasonal narrative that’s punctuated by standalone episodic adventures that have a complete beginning, middle and end.
The upcoming Halo TV show, on the surface at least, seems to be going for the same kind of vibe.
Master Chief, for the most part, has acted alone (if you discount Cortana, that is) throughout the Halo franchise. He’s also a hero who very, very rarely removes his helmet – two elements that mirror Pascal’s Din Djarin in The Mandalorian.
We also see Master Chief exploring some ruins in a sand-laden environment, as well as expansive vistas that hint at the fact that Paramount’s Halo adaptation will take us on a journey to different worlds and parts of the universe.
Close-up shots give us a vague idea of some of the show’s supporting cast who we’ll meet along the way, too. We see McElhone’s Halsey, Olive Gray’s Miranda Keyes, Bokeem Woodbine’s Soren-066 and Yerin Ha’s Kwan Ha briefly during the teaser, which hints at potential interactions and team-ups between Master Chief and these individuals. Again, this is similar to the Mandalorian, where Djarin must work with local citizens, law enforcers and other characters to achieve a common goal.
Like The Mandalorian, Halo will include flashbacks to John-117’s childhood, too. The trailer shows us a couple of seconds of footage of Master Chief as a child before he’s ripped away from his mother, inducted into the Spartan program and biologically augmented to become the supersoldier that we know him to be.
We know the kid in the trailer is John as the child actor – Casper Knopf – is listed as playing ‘Young John’ on the show’s IMDB page. We also get a brief glimpse at actor Sarah Ridgeway, who will portray John’s mother in the TV show, at the 0:31 mark:
Given that Paramount’s Halo adaptation is set during the height of the Human-Covenant War, we can expect to see species, planets, biomes and highly-advanced technology that are unique to the Halo universe as well. Once more, similarities can be drawn with The Mandalorian, which has its own distinct aesthetic and feel, thanks to the fact that it’s set in the Star Wars universe.
Is the Halo TV show, then, Paramount Plus’s answer to The Mandalorian? In our opinion, yes. Sure, it’s set in a completely different universe, so it’ll have its own distinctive atmosphere, plot, world-building elements, action and much more.
But it’s hard to look past the fact that it looks and feels similar in style and tone to The Mandalorian. That isn’t a bad thing, though: The Mandalorian is a superb show so, if Paramount’s Halo adaptation can capture what makes the game series so good, we’ll be in for a treat when the TV show arrives in 2022.
After the first Halo teaser left me feeling underwhelmed, this one certainly piqued my interest – and I’m very excited to see more.
Halo will launch exclusively on Paramount Plus sometime in 2022.