The Halo games have always been very popular and thoughts to move the franchise into the visual medium are not new. However, bringing the Halo game to TV, or film just never seemed to get off the ground. Until now. The first season of the Halo TV show is currently about to resume filming in Hungary.
The Halo TV series will focus on the main Halo characters of Master Chief and Cortana. The TV series is designed to fit in canonically with the story of the games. All we really know is that Halo will supposedly concentrate on the period where Master Chief was battling against the Covenant. I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion they will adapt the classic Halo novel The Fall of Reach, but there is no evidence of that yet.
The thing is, it’s tricky to take something that started as a game and make it work for the visual medium. Just look at how many failed attempts there have been over the years. This challenge is not one that has gone unnoticed. Halo transmedia boss Kiki Wolfkill recently offered some insights into the process of adapting Halo for Showtime. Wolfkill appeared on Gary Whitta’s Animal Talking, the talk show that takes place entirely within Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch. Here is a transcript of what she had to say, courtesy of GameSpot.
“How do we take something and not try and verbatim translate it to a different medium. But how do we look at what the experience can mean for people? For me, I look at it as how do people feel when they come out of playing the game, or how do they feel after reading one of the novels. Or engaging in any of the different kinds of experiences that we have. Because that’s the core of what the universe is and entering the universe should mean.”
The Advantages of TV
“You also want it to be different, because the whole point of going to a different medium is to let yourself and let the IP express itself in a different way. With television, we get long-form storytelling. We get to develop characters. We get to really dig into their backgrounds and their motivations and who they are emotionally. And they can express it as themselves as opposed to needing to reflect who they are through some of the other characters as we do in the games.”
This exactly why fans like me have always wanted to see Halo become more than a game franchise. Games are still limited in how they can tell a story. In certain ways, games can be superior, by placing you the players into the action. However, there are also some storytelling devices that simply work better on TV and film. The Halo games are really only a small part of the story, like the big events. The tissue that makes the Universe feel real is all contained within companion novels and short stories. The TV and film industry have been adapting books since both businesses began. Therefore, adapting a book, seems a far easier task than adapting a video game.
If this is the kind of content the Halo TV show is going for, then perhaps Halo could finally break that game to film curse?
What do you think of Wolfkill’s comments about the challenges of bringing the Halo game to TV? Leave your thoughts below if you have the time.
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