Halo’s First Trailer Has Fans Mixed on the Paramount+ Show

Halo TV Master Chief
Photo Credit: Abram Buehner / / Paramount

The first full trailer for Paramount+’s Halo series is finally here after debuting during the AFC Championship game. Unfortunately, fans are mixed on the project. Considering that Halo is one of gaming’s most iconic franchises, getting its characters right in live-action was going to be essential. In the eyes of many on social media, the show isn’t doing that.

Before we break down where many believe the show went awry, check out the trailer above.

Critiquing Halo’s Trailer

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the trailer is Cortana’s new design. While the hypersexualized Cortana seen in the games was probably not suitable for TV, her new flesh-tone look doesn’t feel quite right to many. As content creator and Halo expert Chris Ray Run wrote on Twitter, “she should AT LEAST BE BLUE dawg” … a common sentiment among Halo fans when the trailer dropped last night.

Halo TV show Cortana
Photo Credit: VCG / Paramount

The ire is largely understandable. The sights and sounds of Halo are part of what has allowed this franchise to endure for so long. So, when Master Chief, played by Pablo Schreiber, doesn’t sound like Steve Downes, the community will need time to adjust. Putting a cover of a Phil Collins song in the background of the trailer doesn’t help either, considering that Martin O’Donnell’s compositions are so beloved. 

As Washington Post games writer Gene Park remarked on Twitter.

Park continued, noting that “even if the halo show is bad I’ll still enjoy it. In my heart, I have almost as much generous adoration for halo as I do Spider-Man. I’ll still enjoy even the bad stuff. And the action looks solid at least.”

The Trailer’s Good Elements

The latter seems to be a general point of praise. Famous Halo YouTuber Mint Blitz rounded up his thoughts on Twitter, writing,

After all, the series does seem to nail some Halo design elements. Master Chief’s armor, which is clearly evocative of his Halo 2 Anniversary design, looks quite good in motion. Classic weaponry from the Battle Rifle to the Energy Sword has also effectively made the jump to live-action. Covenant ships and UNSC vehicles have likewise sprung to life directly from the games as well. 

And, in spite of controversy around characters like Cortana, other cast members have been well-received. Doctor Catherine Halsey, played by Natascha McElhone, is a dead ringer for her in-game counterpart. And as Gene Park and Mint Blitz noted, the GCI Elites look faithful, looking badass in the battle against Chief.

The Biggest Halo Series Yet

It’s unclear whether the pilot episode will put the community’s fears to rest. With any luck, they will. There is a lot riding on the series. While Halo has been adapted into live-action before, most notably with its two webseries, Halo 4: Forward Until Dawn and Halo: Nightfall, neither is on the production scale of the Paramount+ show.

Halo TV Show Master Chief
Photo Credit: EW / Paramount

Still, there are far more questions than answers. Not only has the show’s production been brought into question, but the plot is equally mysterious. Chief’s struggle against the Covenant alongside human factions will seemingly be the crux of the show. However, we also see teases of the Flood and nods to the controversial Spartan training program. 

If the series can pay off the lore elements it is setting up, then Paramount might captivate the community even if production choices leave something to be desired. Video game adaptations have a rocky history. Hopefully, Halo is more Castlevania than Monster Hunter.

Halo launches exclusively on Paramount+ on March 24th.

Written by Abram Buehner

Abram Buehner is a part-time student and full-time dork. With a particular love for Nintendo and a nearly equal affinity for PlayStation and Xbox, Abram plays across all platforms. When he’s not digging into his backlog, Abram is probably writing about games instead. Otherwise, Abram can be found working toward his dual degree in English and Film & New Media Studies …or he’s babbling about Star Wars. The latter is more likely.

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