San Diego Comic-Con is underway and, of course, the people behind Halo's upcoming live-action show, Halo: Nightfall, were at the event to give fans a better look at it. The panel consisted of 343 Industries' Kiki Wolfkill (executive producer), Frank O'Connor (franchise development director), actor Mike Colter, actress Christina Chong, and David Zucker (Scott Free TV President). Before we watched a new teaser or the panel began to really get into details, we were treated to an opening video message from producer Ridley Scott. The famous director said extensively handling a video game franchise is new for him and, as a producer, he has the ability to jump into this massive universe. He also added that Nightfall's team did a "fantastic job" with the project.
The show will primarily serve as an origin story for Colter's character, Agent Locke, and lead into Halo 5: Guardians. He'll be playable in the game, too (along with Master Chief, of course). We were told Nightfall will offer a "different creative perspective" on the sci-fi universe so it can help make it "deeper and richer." Seeing as it's the introduction of Locke and has close ties to Halo 5, the panel said they were intrigued by the idea of building connected and complimented story arcs. It was added that the game will help us better experience and understand Locke's point of view. However, they were sure to explain that the experience will be friendly to new viewers, as well. When asked about the lead character, Colter described him as someone who shows both power and vulnerability during his journey. Meanwhile, Christina Chong stated her character is brave, smart, loyal, and ambitious. Meeting ONI (Office Naval Intelligence) will boost her drive and make her want to prove that she has what it takes to be an elite soldier.
The teaser video (provided below) was purely tension and buildup about a new threat. It was devoid of action, but we received glimpses of the characters and settings and there were teasers here and there about the overall narrative. Obviously, it ends on a strong note as the shot pans up to reveal a damaged and burning Halo and a brief bit of audio that'll give any longtime fan of the franchise goosebumps.
Wolfkill called the show a unique Halo story which will have these characters face immense challenges and change along the way. A distant outer colony which resents the UNSC and feels abandoned will play a major role. This will generate a plot that showcases more of the politics and tension behind UNSC's relationship with colonies. Due to the location's lack of wealth, we'll also see their modified versions of UNSC technology. We were told there would be plenty of "Halo props" to spot. Additionally, the panel talked about how shooting in Iceland was not only a gorgeous and unforgettable experience, but also hit them with a massive variety of weather and that helped in making it feel like an all-new location. We all remember first stepping onto the ring in the first Halo game and they said they're hoping to duplicate that immersive experience.
Setting part of the show on a damaged Halo is a "big statement about the scale of this project." The partially functioning fragment of the Halo ring (Halo: Combat Evolved fans likely know why the ring is damaged) means the location becomes a character in itself. The panel said it could be seen as a "dark and malevolent character" as it offers various new obstacles for the characters. As for the vehicles, Nightfall won't have a Pelican but they will have a new vehicle: the Condor. The panel described the ship as a medium-sized transport craft and jokingly called it a super Pelican.
Will there be aliens? It's a question quite a few fans asked during the panel and the team did everything to avoid saying "yes." In fact, O'Connor even joked that he pleads the fifth to one of the questions, but it was strongly implied extraterrestrials would appear (O'Connor said we'd see "familiar threats" on the damaged ring and hinted that fans will be happy). And we all expect big action and excitement from the Halo franchise, but Colter explained Nightfall will give us more of the "human element" behind all of the adrenaline pumping goodness.
Here's the teaser.
Basically, the show is turning Locke into a big character, it'll connect to Halo 5 (and he'll be playable!), the tale will be character-driven, and, even though they technically didn't confirm it, it was strongly hinted we'd see some of Halo's aliens appear. Now it's just a matter of seeing how the show turns out!
Halo: Nightfall is scheduled to release on Xbox Live this November.