Halo fans can breathe easy: Master Chief has now been confirmed for Showtime's upcoming Halo TV series!
THR has obtained casting notices for Halo, which reveal that John/Master Chief is indeed a characters in the series. The character is specifically described as a "Spartan-like warrior of large build," which is a none-to-subtle ode to the iconic face of the Halo video game series.
It was stated back in the summer during the TCA upfronts that Showtime would be making Master Chief a "major part" of the Halo TV series, but this confirmation indicates he will indeed be a lead character (named "series regular") in the show, rather than simple legend in the series lore, or supporting character who appears now and again.
Fan speculation will quickly turn to how the series will present Master Chief, whose face is never actually revealed in the games. But whereas games make the player the stand-in for a character, a TV series needs to build actual fully-formed characters, with backstories and personalities that run deeper than armor and a helmet. There is a backstory for Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John-117, so it will be interesting to see how this Showtime series incorporates that.
Here's how Showtime President and CEO David Nevins has described the version of Halo the cable network is building:
"It is a very different genre, it’s futuristic, space-based science fiction, it’s not fantasy. It took us a long time to get the script but we felt like we had something that was really interesting and felt like it belonged on Showtime in terms of its character depth, and it’s gonna be a big show."
Regarding the Master Chief himself, President of Programming Gary Levine has already stated the following:
"We made a conscious decision to hire a writer not known for sci-fi and not known for big battle movies, because that’s already baked into the Halo franchise and we will service that, but we also wanted to ensure that we were getting beneath the formidable armor of the Spartans and really getting inside the team drama so it felt like it belonged on Showtime."
While it seems clear that the show will go "beneath the armor" of the Spartan warriors like Master Chief, a lot of Halo fans are holding out hope that video game voice actor Steve Downes will provide his iconic Master Chief voice for the character - at least when he's suited up.
THR's report also makes mention that Dr. Halsey, the SPARTAN -II program creator, is confirmed for the series. The casting is for an actress 55-65, which seems to indicate we will get the version of Halsey who had a change of heart about her living weapons of war, later on in her life. The casting listing also calls for an Asian actress 18 -20 is attributed to a character named "Jenny," who may be a new addition to the Halo lore.
Halo is reportedly slated to start production in June 2019.