Starring in a TV adaptation of Halo is no easy feat. Anyone who’s played a Halo game knows how incredibly deep the franchise’s lore runs. There’s a lot to know, and when you’re playing a character as pivotal as Master Chief, there’s a lot of research to do. Luckily for Pablo Schreiber there was a boot camp for it.
The actor plays Master Chief/John-117 in the upcoming Paramount+ series and admits he wasn’t that familiar with Halo before he was cast.
“I was familiar with it, but more from a peripheral standpoint,” he told GameSpot. “I didn’t grow up watching TV or video games, so my only access to video games was when I was a teenager and I went to friends’ houses and played after school. I played Halo a few times but had never played the campaign or the story version I just played [multiplayer].”
When he landed the role, however, Schreiber found out just how vast the Halo storyline is.
“That was really the shock when I got the job and went to 343 for their boot camp – which is basically like an informational download – got as much halo, backstory, information and history as I could in about five days,” explained the actor. Bootcamp didn’t end there, however.
“And then they sent me off with this treasure trove of research that started and obviously revolved around the game’s cinematics,” continued Schreiber. “From start to finish, everything that was established in the video games that were available to me. But beyond that they sent me some novels, they sent me some graphic novels, all the animated shorts, all the live action films. And I was beginning to realize that the scale of what has been established in terms of mythology and lore is not only mind-blowing, I mean it’s an obvious word to throw around with.
There’s certainly less homework to do than digesting virtually everything Halo has to offer. While it might have been an intimidating mountain to climb, it greatly helped Schreiber fully understand what he would be a big part of.
“What I love about it so much is how deep and rich and elaborate the whole universe really is,” he said. “So that’s where my excitement as a creator and as a storyteller began, that I would have access to all of this information for storytelling purposes, but also that we would truly have the honor of bringing this amazing universe to so many millions of people who do it.” Haven’t played or experienced the game yet. You can now see why we love this universe so much.”
You can see this universe when Halo premieres Thursday on Paramount+. In his review of the series, Chris E. Hayner writes, “Halo is a show that, by and large, shouldn’t work. It’s actually surprising that it even exists. Fortunately, it does. What the team behind the show have created is an interesting new way to explore the Halo franchise. It stands on its own, away from the games, but it’s only stronger for it.”
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