Steven Spielberg was heavily involved in “every aspect” of the production

Steven Spielberg took a very hands-on approach to Halo TV shows. The legendary director’s production company, Amblin Television, helped bring the video game adaptation to Paramount+ after nearly a decade of development hell. Ahead of the series premiere later this month, executive producer Darryl Frank discussed Spielberg’s involvement in Halo production, revealing that he looked at every step of the show’s creation.

Steven Spielberg | Jesse Grant/Getty Images

‘Halo’ spent nearly 10 years in development hell

Xbox and Amblin Television first announced a Halo TV series in 2013, with Spielberg set to produce. Unfortunately, the project had a very rocky road to production. As Unexplored and many other video game adaptations, Halo went through several producers and directors before it could finally come together.

During Microsoft Xbox One Press Conference in 2013, Spielberg discussed his vision for the Halo series:

I’ve been playing games for decades. And I even started playing Pong in 1974. Over the years, this experience has exploded from the mere pixels of pong to worlds as immersive and certainly more physically interactive than those depicted on the big screen. … For me, the Halo is an incredible opportunity to be at that intersection where technology and myth-making meet to produce something truly groundbreaking.

A few years passed without any updates on Spielberg’s adaptation. Then, in 2018, Showtime picked up the series for a 10-episode order. Kyle Killen has signed on as writer, executive producer, and showrunner, while Rupert Wyatt will direct and executive produce. However, Wyatt later had to resign due to scheduling conflicts.

Otto Bathurst became the next Halo director in 2019, and Steven Kane joined as showrunner. Finally, in 2021, the series moved from Showtime to Paramount+.

Steven Spielberg ‘sponsored’ the Paramount + series ‘Halo’

Halo underwent personnel changes in almost every department, but Spielberg remained a constant presence. According to Darryl Frank, the West Side Story The director has influenced every part of the series as it has evolved over the past nine years.

“We treated it like it was a legacy project from Steven,” Frank told Total Film magazine (per GamesRadar).

The executive producer went on to explain that Spielberg’s hands-on approach applied not only to casting and script decisions, but also to things like design and effects.

“He sponsored it in terms of reading each script, helping choose showrunners, writers, director, actors, production design and visual effects,” Frank added. “Every aspect of it, he watched.”

Adaptation will appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike, says showrunner Steven Kane

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Fans of Spielberg’s work will definitely want to tune in to Halo premiere in March. The series follows a cybernetically enhanced soldier named Master Chief and his mission to defend the human race against a group of aliens known as the Covenant. According to Steven Kane, both longtime fans of the Halo games and newcomers can enjoy the show.

“It’s a great war story and a love story,” he told Total Film. “It’s a story of plot and a story of characters who are just looking for something, and they’re all longing for something that’s just beyond their reach.”

Halo premieres on Paramount+ on March 24. Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for more updates.

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