Halo TV Series Producer Explains Cortana's Redesign

The Cortana in Halo from Paramount+ is not the exact same as the character appears in the video game franchise, previous trailers have revealed. Though the games have seen serious changes over the years to the character, the Paramount+ series opts for an even more significant departure from what came before. According to a recent interview with Kiki Wolfkill, 343 Industries' studio head of transmedia and Halo executive producer, the new design is a natural step forward for many of the same reasons that the in-game models changed.

"It's so funny, because we change her design for every game. And a lot of that is driven by technology," Wolfkill recently told GamesRadar+. "A lot of the design changes as we progress[ed] through the game generations was because we had access to better graphics, technology, more pixels, and more effects. And so it's always been about adapting Cortana to the environment. In this situation, it's so very different from the games in that she has to feel real. And by that, I don't mean feel like a real human. She has to feel like a real AI, a real hologram, and be a character that real people are acting against... That was really the impetus in designing her – how do we make her feel very tangible in this Halo world?"

Notably, an actual look at Cortana was not in the episodes provided for review, so it's hard to say right now how the AI looks in action beyond what's been seen in trailers. Even so, it so far feels like a solid attempt at translating the success of the video games into a live-action series. "The storytelling can overall be a bit clunky at times, but it largely hits the mark while nailing the visuals and overall vibe of what it broadly means to be part of the greater Halo franchise," my review of Halo from earlier this week reads in part. "That clunkiness is likely thanks in part to the attempt to crystallize all things Halo into a digestible package for a much broader audience. Not everyone that watches the show will have years of experience with Master Chief, but for those that do, it only makes the moments where Schreiber is fully armored up, taking on Elites with precision that much sweeter."

The upcoming Halo television series is set to land on Paramount+ on March 24th. The series stars Pablo Schreiber as Master ChiefNatascha McElhone as Dr. Catherine HalseyJen Taylor as the voice of Cortana, and more. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the upcoming Halo TV show right here.

What do you think about the explanation behind the changes to Cortana for Halo on Paramount+? Are you excited to check out the series later this month? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop in order to talk about all things gaming or television!