Due to recent news surrounding the ominous Microsoft-produced Halo TV series partnered with 343 Studios and Steven Spielberg, I wanted to highlight that now is the perfect time for a franchise like Halo to come out with a well-written and high-end TV series.
A new golden era for television
When was the last time you turned on the TV and flipped through the different stations to find something interesting? When did you last buy a TV program to look out for upcoming series’? It’s probably been a while. Television has been struggling for some time now because on-demand services and the YouTube/Twitch generation are stealing many of TV’s customers away. Whereas live sports are still a thing, almost everything else is on-demand or tivo-ed away.
The emergence of services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime put another nail in the coffin for classic TV. Why would I ever wait again for a series to release only one new episode weekly when I can stream a whole season in one night?
Nerd culture is in its prime
As seen with series like Game of Thrones or Doctor Who (not to mention the superhero craze that’s taking over the world!), it’s never been cooler to be a nerd, geek, gamer — whatever you want to call it. The market knows that and provides us with a lot of content to consume on each platform and with a lot of services. Public screenings of Doctor Who in local cinemas, blockbuster superhero movies coming out nonstop, and so on have become the norm.
Gaming is no longer a niche market either as game culture has reached a distinct level of maturity. We consumers are now committed to many companies and IPs, and these devs and series’ aren’t going anywhere anytime soon as demand only continues to increase.
In fact, game culture is spreading beyond just video games. Consider the newly released Castlevania Netflix show that’s already got a second season coming with twice the number of episodes. It was a big success and will likely only continue to grow, especially considering that Netflix is quickly closing in on 100 million monthly subscribers.
A Halo TV series was teased in 2013
Microsoft and 343 Studios teased us back in 2013 with their announcement that they’d be producing a Halo TV show with the involvement of Steven Spielberg. Check out the reveal at roughly 2:05:
Halo fans around the world have been on their heels for years now hoping that they might finally get this promised full-fledged Halo series. But so far, we still know nothing about it. Recent news around the project revealed that it is at least not dead and that they’re continuing to work on it, although they have no news for us at this point. Here is the short statement by Microsoft:
“Progress on the Halo Television Series continues. We want to ensure we’re doing this the right way together with a team of creative partners (Steven Spielberg and Showtime) that can help us build the best Halo series that fans expect and deserve. We have no further details to share at this time.”
Halo on the small and big screen so far
Besides the successful game franchise and countless novelizations, there have in fact been a few entries into the world of moving pictures for Halo. The problem so far has been very limited resources and mostly mediocre to bad stories that did not succeed in bringing fans an authentic Halo experience. The best of the bunch might just be the feature length film, Halo: Forward Unto Dawn (2012). The film follows the training of cadet Thomas Lasky and ends with a small invasion force of the covenant. Only in the last 20 minutes of the film do we get to see the Master Chief in action, and while that’s brilliant, the rest is not that good. While it was not a complete disaster, it failed to truly give us the Spartan action we were looking for. I would, however, recommend that you sit through it (if you’re a big Halo fan, that is) since it’s the best live-action adaption of the franchise.
Another passable entry was Halo Legends (2010). A compilation of seven short animated films in cooperation with Toei Animations. While the art style might be not for everyone, the different stories and scenarios are fun to watch and should be enjoyable if you are looking for some Halo content to dive into. Not all of the stories are canon, but if you can look past some of the typical anime tropes and animations, you will get some good entertainment out of the series.
Two other more recent entries in the cinematic history of Halo include Halo: Nightfall (2014) and Halo: The Fall of Reach (2015). The first takes us through the backstory of Agent Jameson Locke (known for his first appearance in Halo 4 and as the second playable character in Halo 5), but was just a decent sci-fi movie at best. If you played Halo 5 and you can empathize with Locke and his team, you might get a good enough experience out of this movie, but for non-fans it likely wouldn’t be much fun to watch.
The Fall of Reach is an animated movie about the novel based on the same story. We follow a young John-117 on his way to becoming the Master Chief. While the animations are subpar in my opinion, I liked the story of the book, and they did a good job of translating it into an animated movie. It’s the origin story of Master Chief, so I would of course recommend that any Halo fan delve into either the book or the film to learn where the protagonist is coming from and why he is so close to Cortana.
The time is ripe…
With the aforementioned new era of television emerging and the current hype around everything geeky and gaming related, the time is perfect for a major AAA franchise to enter the ring, so to speak. I agree that they need to do it right and hit a home run with the fans to build momentum, but I’m also confident they can pull it off.
What are your thoughts on an upcoming Halo TV series and the franchise in general? Let us know on Twitter!