According to Pablo Schreiber, who portrays Master Chief in the “Halo” franchise, the video game franchise would be more suited for a TV program than a feature film. Over the previous two decades, Halo: Combat Evolved has evolved from a single video game to a major phenomenon, spawning over a dozen sequels and spinoffs, a slew of novels, and even a number of limited television episodes. The proposal to make a “Halo” feature film had been in the works since the early 2000s, with Peter Jackson attached to produce at one time, but it was shelved in 2006, much to the dismay of fans.
The big-budget “Halo“ series from Paramount+ finally debuted last month after a bumpy journey to production and years of anticipation. The show set new viewership records for Paramount+, but it has divided critics and spectators, with many die-hard gaming players criticizing the show for some of its deviations from the source material. Yerin Ha, Shabana Azmi, Olive Grey, Natasha Culzac, Natascha McElhone, and Jen Taylor, reprising her role as Cortana from the games, star in the show, which introduces spectators to Schreiber’s Master Chief, nicknamed John.
In a new interview with EW, Schreiber says that attempting to turn video games into films has inherent difficulties. Many of Hollywood’s previous “swings and misses” with video game movies, according to Schreiber, can be linked to the “rich storytelling culture” seen in video games not translating well to a two-hour film. In the end, he believes that “there was really no other alternative” for “Halo” besides television. Check out the rest of Schreiber’s statement below:
“A lot of that is because there’s such a deep, rich storytelling culture in video games. When you try to do the short, quick, sweet version of it, oftentimes you can miss the mark pretty easily.”
Given the immensity of “Halo” history, which has only grown with each new game and book released over the previous two decades, translating the property into a film would be a massive task at this point. In general, “Halo” games’ story modes last anywhere from six to ten hours or more, allowing for far more story and lore to be packed into a game than a two-hour film could. Furthermore, the “Halo” show has a lot of ground to cover due to its decision to investigate Master Chief as a complex character rather than the relatively blank slate he is depicted as in the games.
While not every “Halo” fan agrees with some of the show’s decisions, it’s evident that the show’s creators care about and appreciate the source material they’re working with. A “Halo” movie is still theoretically feasible, although it appears to be a long shot as long as the show is on the air. With the debut of “Halo” and the imminent release of HBO’s “The Last of Us“ series, it appears that the industry is beginning to realize that TV episodes lend themselves to video game adaptations better than movies. Every Thursday, new episodes of “Halo” are posted on Paramount+.