Is 'Halo' dead before it's even started? Here's why both showrunners have left Showtime series
The obstacles just seem to mount for 'Halo'. The Paramount+ series starring Pablo Schreiber has had another snag even before the premiere. The sci-fi thriller based on the popular game franchise of the same name will be rudderless in the second season (it was already renewed for another installment). While one of the showrunners, Kyle Killen exited ahead of the debut, Steven Kane, the other head honcho, will not return as the showrunner for the new season.
'Halo' follows a 26th-century intergalactic war between the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) and the Covenant, an alliance of alien races looking to destroy humanity. It stars Schrieber as Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, the leader of the genetically-enhanced Spartan supersoldier unit; Natascha McElhone as Dr Halsey, the creator of the Spartan program; Jen Taylor as the AI Cortana; and Yerin Ha as Kwan, the daughter of a military leader on the planet Madrigal, where the events of the series begin.
Why did showrunners Kyle Killen and Steve Kane exit 'Halo'?
According to Variety's sources, Killen left the project ahead of the start of production as he felt he was unable to dedicate time for full-time showrunner duties during the show’s shoot in Budapest. Kane took over as the lead showrunner following Killen's departure. According to Bounding into Comics, Kane, after being part of the shoots in Budapest for two years "wished to return stateside for personal reasons”.
Speaking at the 2022 Television Critics Association, Kane shed more light on his non-return for 'Halo' Season 2. "I never really thought it would be a more than one season thing just because of the amount of work it takes. It's a very challenging show to write and produce. So, I came in and sort of redeveloped and fleshed out and did my work, but it can't be done remotely. So I was in Hungary for close to two years out of the three I was working on it. As much as I enjoyed every minute of it, it's a long time to be away from my family. My kids were in their final years of high school and so I didn't want to leave again."
He also added: "While making Halo will go down for me as a career highlight, I knew I could really only do it for one season. The people at Showtime and Paramount+ were gracious enough to allow me to finish post-production on season one here in LA, which I'm still doing up until we air. And the show looks amazing. And if, when, there's a second season, I'm going to take a step back and consult and be available for the new people. We’ll have a new team come in with some fresh eyes to pick up where I left off, which I think is kind of great for the show. Just to keep bringing in new people. It's such a big world that it takes 10 times more work and energy than any normal show."
Quite simply, it appears that Kane mostly wanted to be with his family after a prolonged production rather than issues with being part of the sci-fi thriller. It hasn't been an easy ride for the show as it went through development hell. It saw a new director in Otto Bathurst who stepped in for Rupert Wyatt. Add to this the delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 'Halo' was stuck until production houses were given the green light to get back on floors again.
'Halo' Episodes 1 and 2 will premiere on Paramount+ on March 24th.