Master Chief is getting a new home base on television — before he’s even shown up for duty. In a late twist in the long-developing journey to bring the Halo sci-fi gaming franchise to the small screen, the upcoming live-action TV series, Halo, is reportedly leaving its original Showtime destination behind, and is set to debut instead as an exclusive at another ViacomCBS offering, Paramount+.
ViacomCBS delivered news of Halo's big streaming leap (along with a single look at the series' familiar-looking logo, shown below) via a press release Wednesday, indicating the change over to Paramount+ will lend significant new genre heft to the rebranded premium platform ahead of its Mar. 4 launch. Under its current CBS All Access moniker, the streamer is already home to Star Trek: Picard and other Trek properties, as well as The Twilight Zone and the new event series adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand.
Also bolstering the platform’s genre lineup will be original feature films, as well as a steady supply of small-screen arrivals from Paramount’s theatrical roster. At least three new genre projects are reportedly in development as Paramount+ originals, including a new Pet Semetary horror chapter that’s billed, via Deadline, as a “new origins story feature based on the Stephen King bestseller.” The new film is reportedly produced by Bumble Bee’s Lorenzo di Bonaventura and written by Jeff Buhler, who also penned the script for the 2019 Pet Semetary movie remake.
In addition, Paramount+ reportedly will also be the streaming home for the previously-announced Paranormal Activity movie project from director Will Eubank and writer Christopher Landon; as well as The In Between, an upcoming supernatural romance movie from filmmaker Arie Posin and script writer Marc Klein. On the big-screen to small-screen side of things, the streamer also teased that A Quiet Place Part II and Mission: Impossible 7 will each make Paramount+ their TV home, once those films' 45-day theatrical windows have expired. A Quiet Place Part II is currently set to sneak into theaters Sept. 17, while Mission: Impossible 7 is bound for the big screen Nov. 19.
Paramount+ also scored another upcoming Star Trek original on Wednesday, with ViacomCBS announcing that the platform will premiere the CG-animated kids' series Star Trek: Prodigy, which originally had been set to debut on Nickelodeon. To mark the occassion, they also debuted a first look (above) at the Prodigy bridge crew.
The platform's pre-launch advertising blitz has already leaned heavily into other current and future genre offerings, including the animated comedy series Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Discovery, Beavis and Butt-Head, and Dora the Explorer. Today's news drop also included word of a new live-action Dora series, aimed at kids 6-11, as well as another live action kids series based on a popular Nickelodeon cartoon, The Fairly OddParents.
As far as Halo goes, Paramount+ appears to have galactic ambitions (so do we!) for the series that's currently being filmed in Budapest. “We were on the hunt for signature shows beyond the Star Trek franchise on CBS All Access and were thinking, what could be a defining series for Paramount+,” explained CBS creative executive David Nevins, via Deadline. “…Halo always fit the bill, but seeing it, we felt it would work.”
News of Halo’s big move also came with the slightest bit of fresh story news to help fans further fill out the series’ tightly-guarded plot puzzle. The show “delivers the visceral excitement of playing the game, along with a much deeper emotional experience around the Spartans, human beings who got their humanity chemically and genetically altered,” said Nevins, adding that the “story is about reclaiming what makes them human, and therefore it’s a very powerful story.”
Having long been in development, the Halo series launch date at Showtime was never officially set, and that still appears to be the case for its Paramount+ debut. ViacomCBS said in Wednesday's release that the show is on track to premiere "in early 2022," and is still being produced under its ongoing partnership between Showtime and Halo game development studio 343 Industries, alongside Amblin Television.