Legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg is set to produce a television series based on the long-running military/sci-fi video game series Halo. The X-Box Live exclusive will premiere sometime in fall 2015 to coincide with the release of Halo 5: Guardians.
This is not the first time the franchise has had a TV show coincide with a game; Halo 4 was released alongside a digital series called Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. According to Forbes, the show could potentially position Xbox Live to be a greater competitor to other streaming services such as Netflix. No other details about the Spielberg-produced show have been released.
The Halo series centers on a war between humanity and an alliance of aliens known as the Covenant. The Covenant, led by religious leaders known as the Prophets, worship an ancient civilization called the Forerunners, who were destroyed in another interstellar conflict. Most of the games in the series focus on Master Chief John-117, a member of a group of elite soldiers called Spartans. The title of the series is derived from the Halo rings, large structures constructed by the Forerunners to destroy all sentient life.
A Halo film was first announced in 2005. 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland had been hired to write the script and Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson was set to produce, with District 9 director Neill Blomkamp at the helm. Unfortunately, high production costs – and much interference by Microsoft – kept the film in development hell. Microsoft insisted on a below-the-line budget and fast-tracked production, in addition to demanding an enormous portion of the film’s profits. Eventually the project collapsed, and Jackson and Blomkamp turned their attentions to District 9.
The failure of the film, says Forbes, is what led to the development of the upcoming TV series.