The United Nations Space Command’s most elite operator is finally getting the live-action treatment he deserves. Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 from the popular Halo video game franchise is coming to television in 2022 via a long-awaited series from Paramount+. A brand-new teaser reveals the famous sci-fi operator in a rare state without his iconic Mjolnir armor on. A quick shot shows Master Chief’s heavily muscled back covered in massive scars, presumably from the surgeries it took to transform him into a “Spartan” supersoldier.
First announced in 2014, the series has taken its time to get off the ground, but with Steven Spielberg behind the wheel as one of the show’s executive producers, Halo is already expected to score a second season.
Fictional hero Master Chief — responsible for spawning a generation of first-person-shooter fanatics and for ending generations of Covenant aliens — is sure to hold his own against live-action Elites and Jackals, though the short teaser reveals just enough footage to induce gamer goose bumps without giving anything away.
While it doesn’t show Master Chief on a killing spree or commandeering a Ghost, fans are treated to the sound of his beloved AI assistant Cortana uttering, “Hello, Master Chief.” Jen Taylor, who provided Cortana’s memorable voice for the video games, will be reprising her role for the series. As for the grunt-crushing Spartan himself, Master Chief will be played by Pablo Schreiber.
The game, first released in 2001, breathed fresh air into first-person-shooter video games. Since 1997’s GoldenEye 007, first-person shooters had remained stagnant, barely evolving beyond players running around hitting a single button as fast as possible. Then Halo: Combat Evolved debuted, marking a massive, jet-pack-aided leap into the future of gaming. Between sprawling maps, major improvements in graphics, and a wholly original storyline, Halo landed with such an immediate impact on the gaming industry that it launched Microsoft’s first foray into consoles to the front of the line, where it competed with well-established brands like Nintendo and PlayStation.
Since 2001, the Halo franchise has sold more than 81 million copies, which is especially impressive given the fact that Halo is available exclusively for Xbox and PC, while competing franchises like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto are multiplatform. Halo’s elaborate science-fiction plot was so well conceived that it spawned a book and comic book series, as well as several animated shorts.
The new teaser is stingy in revealing actual clips from the series, but just seeing the Halo logo appear on screen to a backing of that immediately recognizable (and oh-so-sweet) Gregorian chant is all it takes to get fans amped enough to join Master Chief on a Covenant-killing spree.