“Halo” Showrunner On Cortana’s Change
The “Halo” live-action TV series for Paramount+ arrives next week with the first two episodes previewed at SXSW over the weekend.
As expected, an adaptation of work from one medium to another requires changes to the source material. Paramount+ has long stated quite clearly the TV series is considered part of a separate timeline from the games and tie-in lore in other mediums.
One noticeable change was seen in the first trailer a few months back with the reveal of Jen Taylor reprising her role from the games as A.I. character Cortana. In the games, Cortana’s design has shifted between every single entry, but the two common factors across them all is that she’s a transparent hologram and she’s blue.
In the trailer, however, she’s quite human-looking – fully opaque and blue only because of environmental lighting. Recently, executive producer and 343 Industries video game developer Kiki Wolfkill spoke with GamesRadar and explained the reasoning for this particular change:
“It’s so funny, because we change her design for every game. And a lot of that is driven by technology. A lot of the design changes as we progress[ed] through the game generations was because we had access to better graphics, technology, more pixels, and more effects. And so it’s always been about adapting Cortana to the environment.
In this situation, it’s so very different from the games in that she has to feel real. And by that, I don’t mean feel like a real human. She has to feel like a real AI, a real hologram, and be a character that real people are acting against….That was really the impetus in designing her – how do we make her feel very tangible in this Halo world?”
It’s not just her visual look that’s changed. Reviews indicate there has been a drastically altered origin for Cortana in the story, while actress Jen Taylor tells the outlet that this is: “a pretty different Cortana to the one we’ve met before… She has different goals than the Cortana that we have known in the past 20 years. So that is really fun. I get to do some slightly different things.”
Paramount+ is slated to premiere the “Halo” series on March 24th.