Showtime’s live-action Halo TV series has cast six new characters, including Master Chief’s beloved AI companion (and I guess kind of sometimes love interest?) Cortana.
During the TCA press tour, it was announced that Californication star Natascha McElhone would be taking on the role of Cortana and Dr Catherine Halsey. Fans will know that Halsey was the scientist behind the SPARTAN-II program that created Master Chief and various other super soldiers. She would later clone her brain (as you do) to create Cortana.
McElhone will be joined by the Emmy nominated Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo), who’ll be playing Soren-066. Wikipedia tells me this character first appeared in a short story called Pariah, and was a member of the SPARTAN-II program alongside the Chief/John-117, played in the upcoming show by Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black, American Gods).
As per the Halo wiki, Soren-066 didn’t come out of the SPARTAN-II program quite as well as Master Chief. The process left him gravely disfigured, and he was forced to work a desk job instead of heading out to fight as a result of the botched experiments. Naturally, this fills the poor sod with turmoil, which puts him at odds with his former allies.
Showtime described Soren-066 as:
A morally complex privateer at the fringes of human civilisation whose fate will bring him into conflict with his former military masters and his old friend, the Master Chief.
Also confirmed for Halo was Shabana Azmi, who will play Admiral Margaret Parangosky, the head of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Azmi is a beloved icon of Indian cinema, and has starred in over 140 films.
The final three announcements are all fellow Spartan soliders who seem to be characters created specifically for the show; Bently Kalu (Avengers: Age of Ultron) will play Vannak-134, Natasha Culzac (The Witcher) is Riz-028, and Kate Kennedy (Catastrophe) will play Kai-125.
Showtime has described Halo as its most ambitious show to date. They’ve teamed up with Halo developer 343 Industries and Stephen Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, so I’m expecting some pretty big things from this adaptation.
The show starts production in Budapest later this year, and will debut in 2021. In the meantime, Halo Infinite is slated to arrive on Xbox One and Xbox Scarlett during the Holiday 2020 period.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.