Microsoft Producing Live Action ‘Halo’ TV Series with Steven Spielberg

By May 21, 2013

UPDATE: The series will be called “World of Halo” and will only be available via XBox. Original article follows.

At today’s reveal of the new XBox One (we’ll have a full write-up about that coming in the next few hours), Microsoft surprised everyone by announcing they’ll produce a live action Halo TV series. XBox is tweeting that Spielberg will direct the show (presumably the pilot), but that’s still unclear; the announcement was that he’d only produce, but we’ll have to wait and see how that scenario shakes out.

We’re also not entirely certain how we’ll be able to actually see the show. Will it be exclusive to the new XBox One, requiring a subscription to XBox Live in order to watch it? Could Microsoft reach out to HBO or Showtime to release it there? Is a Netflix release in the cards? Time will tell, but Microsoft has said this will be a “premium” show and compared it to “Game of Thrones” in terms of quality. That means they’re going to have to be willing to drop some serious cash for every episode, so hopefully that means the look of the show will be a little more impressive than what we saw in Spielberg’s last sci-fi show, “Terra Nova.”

This announcement has to be exciting for long-time fans of Halo, considering how many times a movie has been tossed around over the past decade or so. Peter Jackson famously was going to produce a feature film with District 9’s Neill Blomkamp directing, but, ironically, it was Microsoft’s desire for creative control that was partly responsible for that project falling apart. Apparently they’ve found a way to make this happen, and collaborating with Spielberg will certainly bring huge amounts of name recognition and press coverage to the show, even from people who aren’t die-hard fans of the games.

If Microsoft can come through on this promise to make a Halo series with “Game of Thrones” levels of quality, this could be utterly amazing. Given Spielberg’s track record in TV over the past few years, and the fact that he’s still one of the busiest people on the planet AND still looking to direct films, it remains to be seen how much involvement he’ll actually have in this project. If they can pull in a great showrunner or two, perhaps they won’t really need his guidance at all, and if they can pull in some up-and-coming directors like Freddy Wong and people who really know and love the source material, that seems like the best case scenario to me.

But how about you guys? What do you think about a live-action Halo TV show? Are you excited or hesitant about this announcement? Sound off below.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.