Last year, Microsoft announced at an Xbox event that it would be teaming up with legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg to create a live-action TV series based on Halo, the Xbox-exclusive science fiction shooter featuring Master Chief. Almost a year later, it appears that plans are falling into place, as Microsoft announced that a deal with a major TV network to host the show is close to being finalized.
According to Variety, The network in question is premium cable company Showtime, whose roster of shows include Homeland, House of Lies and Shameless. 34d Industries, a division of Microsoft dedicated to Halo media, will work with Spielberg’s production company Amblin TV. Spielberg will serve as executive producer.
While Microsoft intends for the Halo TV series to spearhead its new efforts to promote its Xbox original TV programming, it appears that the deal entails episodes of the show airing on Showtime first, and then on Xbox, with added interactive elements.
These interactive elements, along with Microsoft’s cautiousness with one of its most prized franchises, are major reasons as to why the deal took so long to reach.
The Halo TV series is not the only franchise Microsoft intends to adapt into a live action series. As promoted by its president of entertainment and digital media for Xbox, Nancy Tellem, plans are underway to adapt Gears of War, Age of Empires, Fable, State of Decay, and of all things, Forza Motorsport.
It doesn’t end there, however. Other shows include documentaries, such as the upcoming documentary exploring the unearthing of the E.T. landfill, along with comedies, live events and animated shows. All this is part of Microsoft’s effort to carve its own niche to complete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
In addition to this upcoming Halo series, 343 Industries are also collaborating with Alien director Ridley Scott and Battlestar Galactica director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan on a Halo “digital feature project.”