Natascha McElhone (Californication) and Emmy nominee Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo) are set for lead roles opposite Pablo Schreiber in Halo, Showtime’s anticipated series based on the Xbox video game franchise. Rounding out the cast are Shabana Azmi (Fire), Bentley Kalu (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Natasha Culzac (The Witcher) and Kate Kennedy (Catastrophe). The castings were announced Friday during Showtime’s presentation at the TCA summer press tour. Produced by Showtime in partnership with 343 Industries, along with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television, the series will begin production later this year in Budapest and is slated to air in the first quarter of 2021.
McElhone will star as two characters — Dr. Catherine Halsey, the brilliant, conflicted and inscrutable creator of the Spartan supersoldiers and Cortana, the most advanced AI in human history, and potentially the key to the survival of the human race.
Woodbine will play Soren-066, a morally complex privateer at the fringes of human civilization whose fate will bring him into conflict with his former military masters and his old friend, the Master Chief.
Azmi will play Admiral Margaret Parangosky, the head of the Office of Naval Intelligence.
The series will also introduce three all-new characters to the Halo universe. British actor Kalu will play Spartan Vannak-134, a cybernetically augmented supersoldier conscripted at childhood who serves as the defacto deputy to the Master Chief. British actress Culzac will star in the role of Spartan Riz-028 – a focused, professional and deadly, cybernetically enhanced killing machine. Kennedy stars as Spartan Kai-125, an all-new courageous, curious and deadly Spartan supersoldier. Yerin Ha was previously announced playing the new character Kwan Ha, a shrewd, audacious 16-year-old from the Outer Colonies who meets Master Chief at a fateful time for them both.
Halo reinvented how people think about video games and has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, having sold more than 77 million copies worldwide and grossing more than $60 billion in lifetime sales worldwide. In its adaptation for Showtime, Halo will take place in the universe that first came to be in 2001, dramatizing an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant.
The series is executive produced by Steven Kane (The Last Ship). Halo is also executive produced by Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey for Amblin Television in partnership with 343 Industries, director Otto Bathurst and Toby Leslie for One Big Picture and Kyle Killen and Scott Pennington for Chapter Eleven. CBS Studios International will distribute globally.