After losing a director in December, Showtime's Halo television series has added a new director but reduced its episode count.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the long-gestating series will enter production with Otto Bathurst at the helm. Bathurst will direct an undisclosed number of episodes and executive produce the live-action series, which is being developed by showrunner Kyle Killen. Bathurst's previous credits include the 2018 film Robin Hood and episodes of Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror, Criminal Justice and more.
The announcement also noted that the show will consist of only nine episodes instead of its planned 10. There was no explanation as to why the series order was cut by a single episode, but it likely has to do with Bathurst's plan to bring the series to air.
The Halo series will take place in the same world as the video game franchise, which launched on XBox in 2001. It follows the ongoing conflict between humanity and an group of alien races known as the Covenant. The main character is the enigmatic Master Chief, who takes on not only the Covenant, but also the mysterious Flood and the architects who created the gigantic space structures known as Halos.
The Halo franchise has been trying to break into Hollywood for years. Famously, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson planned to adapt it into a feature film, but that fell through. The property has since been picked up by Showtime for a series and has been in various stages of development since 2014.
No confirmed casting has been made, but a casting notice obtained by THR indicates the series would center around a character called John/Master Chief. He remains famously unmasked in the games, but it isn't known if the character will remain that way once the series is fully developed.