A long time ago, in what feels by now like a previous life, I saw a movie adaptation of the popular Halo video game series implode in spectacular Hollywood fashion. It was a lesson in crash-and-burn Hollywood dealmaking, and I honestly thought Halo would never get made. The video game curse is real, and Halo just seemed the most cursed of all video game properties. (A lot of it had to do with how video games make money versus how movies make money and how the video game people wanted too much money from the movie people.) But now, Paramount is bringing Halo to life as a television series on Paramount+ and it’s premiering next year. The first trailer arrived last night, and it is very space and sci-fi and big.
I’m not sure about the reverent tone of the trailer, building up the faceless Master Chief—that’s Pablo Schreiber under the facemask—like he’s Luke Skywalker being revealed in his Jedi glory, but other than that, I dig it. It’s not doing a particularly good job selling the story, but the scope is there, space and war and future things. It physically looks great, frankly, better than it would have looked in the 2000s. I also like looking at a sci-fi thing that isn’t entirely shot in shades of brown and gray. I can detect actual colors in Halo¸ hoo ray. I hope the next trailer fills in some blanks for general audiences, because while the games are very popular, not everyone actually plays video games, and so the grandiose staging of Master Chief won’t make sense to a lot of people without that context. But for a first look, this is solid, not least because I simply never thought it would happen.