I’ve been a longtime fan of Pablo Schreiber, ever since he played Nick Sobotka on HBO’s The Wire. In recent years, I’ve seen him make the leap from character actor to leading man, and now he has landed his biggest project yet in that regard, having been cast as Master Chief in Showtime’s live-action HALO series, the network announced Wednesday.
HALO will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future. The series is set in the 26th century, where Master Chief is Earth’s most advanced warrior and the only hope of salvation for a civilization pushed to the brink of destruction by the Covenant, an unstoppable alliance of alien worlds committed to the destruction of humanity. Newcomer Yerin Ha will play a new character within the HALO universe — Quan Ah, a shrewd, audacious 16-year-old from the Outer Colonies who meets Master Chief at a fateful time for them both.
HALO is based on the iconic Xbox franchise that has sold more than 77 million copies worldwide and grossed more than $60 billion in lifetime sales. The series is produced by Showtime in partnership with 343 Industries, along with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television. Production will begin this fall in Budapest, Hungary. Kyle Killen (Awake) and Steven Kane (The Last Ship) serve as co-showrunners and executive producers. Halo is also executive produced by Amblin’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, director Otto Bathurst and Toby Leslie of One Big Picture, Scott Pennington of Chapter Eleven, and Karen Richards. The series will be distributed globally by CBS Studios International.
While Schreiber has earned both Emmy and Tony Award nominations, including a nod for Orange Is the New Black, I know him best from his stints on The Wire, Law and Order: SVU, and another Showtime series, Weeds. He has also worked with major directors like Woody Allen, Jonathan Demme, Michael Bay, and most recently, Damien Chazelle on First Man. And yet, it was clearly his intense, charismatic turns in macho movies like 13 Hours, Den of Thieves, Skyscraper and the Starz series American Gods that led to his casting in HALO. I’m not sure Schreiber is the kind of ‘name’ that Showtime usually banks on, but he’s certainly recognizable to anyone with a TV, and I think he represents a smart gamble for the network, which is already in business with his half-brother Liev Schreiber on Ray Donovan.
Pablo Schreiber recently appeared on The Brink, and he’ll soon be seen alongside Chris Evans in the limited series Defending Jacob. On the feature side, Schreiber has wrapped Edward James Olmos‘ indie movie The Devil Has a Name as well as the indie drama Lorelei with Jena Malone. He’s represented by WME and Circle of Confusion.
Meanwhile, Ha hails from Sydney Australia and won the plum part in HALO following a worldwide casting search. She has experience doing theater and short films, and recently graduated from Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art. Since then, she has been cast on the TV series Reef Break and landed a major role in the Sydney Theatre Company’s groundbreaking adaptation of Lord of the Flies. She’s repped by Morrissey Management.