The Observer. (La Grande, Or.) 1968-current, March 19, 2022, WEEKEND EDITION, Page 16, Image 16

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    2 l March
20 - 26, 2022
Northeast Oregon TV Weekly
Paramount+ brings an iconic videogame
to television with ‘HALO’
Pablo Schreiber stars
in “HALO,” premiering
Thursday on Paramount+.
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Almost a decade in development, a sci-fi
action series that’s based on an iconic videogame
finally arrives amid much anticipation on
In “HALO,” an adaptation of the Microsoft
videogame franchise first introduced in 2001
that premieres Thursday, March 24, an epic
26th century battle of good versus evil plays out
in a conflict between humanity and an alien
threat known as the Covenant.
At the center of it is Master Chief John-
117 (Pablo Schreiber, “American Gods”), a
supersoldier fighting for the United Nations
Space Command, who through a series of events
winds up reconnecting with his humanity and
questioning his existence as a walking weapon.
That leads to him going rogue and taking up
the protection of Kwan Ha (newcomer Yerin
Ha), a shrewd, audacious 16-year-old from
the Outer Colonies who he meets when her
outpost on the planet Madrigal is decimated
by a Covenant attack. Her goal is to liberate
her world from UNSC control, and their
partnership puts him in direct conflict with his
superiors in the UNSC military.
The series, which was originally developed
for Showtime by 343 Industries and Steven
Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, also stars
Natascha McElhone (“Californication”), Jen
Taylor (“Halo: The Fall of Reach”), Bokeem
Woodbine (“Fargo”), Shabana Azmi (“Fire”),
Natasha Culzac (“The Witcher”), Charlie
Murphy (“Peaky Blinders”) and Danny Sapani
(“Penny Dreadful”).
As one would expect of a videogame
adaptation, the series is loaded with
breathtaking special effects and action
sequences. The latter was the easy part for
Schreiber, a muscular 6-foot-5-inch actor who
had extensive military training when he filmed
“Den of Thieves” in 2018. But taking on the
videogame was another matter.
“I grew up without television or videogames,”
the Canadian-born actor explains, “and so I’m
on a new journey of learning about ‘HALO’
that started when I was approached with this. ...
I’ve had all this military training, so I know how
to carry guns, use guns. I’ve shot every gun you
can imagine. But as soon as I get into the ‘Halo’
universe, I get killed by all the beginning stages,
and all the grunts can kill me continuously. So,
it’s been humbling, but I’m getting better as I
But “HALO” isn’t strictly about action and
effects. The series also promises to explore more
deeply the personal stories and humanity, or
lack thereof, behind the iconic characters that
the game’s fans have come to know and love,
all set within an epic battle for the future of
“We set out to build a huge, epic sc-fi 26th
century world, with brutal aliens, with Spartan
supersoldiers, artificial intelligence, military
politics and ancient mystery ...,” executive
producer Kiki Wolfkill explains. “(So) we really
tried to explore: How much of our humanity
are we willing to sacrifice in order to save it?”
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