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‘I put on 40 pounds of muscle. Holy mackerel!’ Pablo Schreiber on playing Halo’s ripped hero

The videogame has finally been adapted for TV – with the former Wire actor in the lead. He talks about his lean years after the legendary show aired – and losing his Halo character the Master Chief’s famous helmet

And so, after 17 years of false starts, numerous failed attempts at feature films (including a Peter Jackson venture), more than 265 drafts, a reported budget of $200m and a production schedule in Hungary decimated by the pandemic, we are finally set to see a TV series of the video game Halo. Will it have been worth such perseverance? Quite possibly. Since the release of the first video game in Microsoft’s crown jewel franchise – 2001’s Halo: Combat Evolved – the series has sold more than 81m games, generating in excess of $6bn. If a network sticks the landing, a Halo TV show could be a significant weapon in its arsenal. But it’s a big if.

For the uninitiated: Halo takes place at a time of intergalactic war between humans and a collective of quasi-religious alien species known as the Covenant. The protagonist is the Master Chief, or John-117, a 6ft 10in augmented super-soldier (or Spartan, in Halo terminology) and the poster boy of the human campaign against the Covenant – think Hercules reimagined as a space marine.

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