Halo Live-Action Showtime Series Casts Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief

The upcoming Halo television show has found its Master Chief in Pablo Schreiber, who is best known for his work on Orange is the New Black.

By Chris Compendio

April 17, 2019

An attempted Halo movie or television show from Hollywood has proven to be a white whale, but plans from premium cable network Showtime may be turning that pipe dream into a reality. The Hollywood Reporter reported on a key bit of casting, with television actor Pablo Schreiber winning the all-important role of the Master Chief.

Co-starring with Schreiber is Australian newcomer Yerin Ha, who will portray a new character named Quan Ah, described as a “shrewd, audacious 16-year-old from the Outer Colonies who meets Master Chief at a fateful time for them both.” As the report mentions that she was found during a worldwide search, the character must be quite important to the show.

Fans of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black may recognize Schreiber as George “Pornstache” Mendez, receiving a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. His other television credits include American Gods and The Wire, and his film credits include First Man, Skyscraper, and Den of Thieves.

Personally, I have not seen a single performance from Schreiber, having not seen any of his television and film appearances, save for maybe a single guest spot on an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But truth be told, Master Chief would be a difficult character to mess up on-screen. John-117 isn’t exactly the most versatile character.

I’ve always been curious about how a Halo show or movie would work if Master Chief were the protagonist; while he isn’t a silent protagonist, he certainly isn’t a talkative one either. The only story element that gives Master Chief any depth is his relationship with Cortana in the later games, which has me curious if she’ll play a part in this show. Otherwise, the Chief is pretty much a blank slate for Schreiber to play with.

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Production on the series will begin this fall in Budapest, Hungary, with co-showrunners Kyle Killen (Awake) and Steven Kane (The Last Ship). Director Otto Bathurst will helm multiple episodes, replacing Rupert Wyatt. The Halo series will soon find competition in the genre space from Netflix’s The Witcher, which will begin streaming this fall.

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Chris Compendio

Chris is a writer currently based in the Philadelphia area. They are currently writing for film website Flixist, podcasting for Marvel News Desk, and were an editorial intern for Paste Magazine's gaming section. They graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a creative writing major.

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