Showtime announced that Natascha McElhone, Emmy nominee Bokeem Woodbine, Shabana Azmi, Bentley Kalu, Natasha Culzac, and Kate Kennedy are starring in the new “Halo” series on Showtime. The series is based on the iconic Xbox franchise and stars Pablo Schreiber as the Master Chief Spartan John-117. The game franchise has sold more than 77M copies worldwide and made over $60B in lifetime sales worldwide. 

Showtime, 343 Industries, and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television are producing the series, which begins production later this year in Budapest. Fans have a long wait ahead; the show is scheduled to premiere in 2021.

Gary Levine and Jana Winograde, Presidents of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc., confirmed the castings at the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour.

According to the network, 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, 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 additions 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.

In the new series, “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. “Halo” is also executive produced by Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.

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