For fans of space epic HALO, it’s starting to feel like all of those eager rumors of a Hollywood adaption will never come to fruition. It has been many years since the first plans to turn the video game into a movie were announced. They got people pretty excited too, considering legendary directors Neill Blomkamp and Guillermo Del Toro were on board. It wasn’t to be, though because both eventually backed out of the project and things have stalled ever since.
It is a huge shame because the Halo franchise has great potential. The characters are solid, the story is exhilarating, and there’s a lot of anticipation behind a move to the big screen. In fact, there’s so much interest that a Halo movie is likely to happen someday. The difficulty will be in finding a director who can bring the fight between the Spartans and the Covenant to life.
The casting will have to be flawless because gaming fans are a notoriously finicky bunch. They’ve got some firm ideas about what the real world versions of their characters should be like and keeping them happy is no easy feat.
This is why we’ve decided to throw our hat in the ring and give you our casting picks for the perfect Halo movie.
Jessica Chastain for Cortana
We’ll start with Cortana who is, arguably, the most important character in the whole franchise. As the AI sidekick and voice of guidance for Master Chief, the actress who plays her has to embody the same warmth and sensitivity. Cortana is no push over, but gamers fall for her compassion and love for the Boss Man.
We think that Zero Dark Thirty actress Jessica Chastain would be ideal. She doesn’t really look like Cortana, but that doesn’t matter. In any Halo movie, she’d likely be CGI generated anyway. So, the important qualities would be a strong voice, an unintimidating intelligence, and the ability to really make you root for the relationship between Cortana and Master Chief.
Jamie Foxx for Sgt Avery Johnson
Johnson is the marine who leads the human troops into battle, but he’s also a close friend and ally to Master Chief. In the game, he’s a strong, straight-talking black man and there are plenty of commanding, skilled actors who could do the job. For instance, Denzel Washington would act his socks off in the role, but he might be missing a hint of humor and mischief.
While the life and death situations which Master Chief and Johnson find themselves in are rather grim, there’s real wit and personality to the gruff sergeant. This is why Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx is our pick. Just watch him in 2005 war film Jarhead for a slice of that gruff-faced wit and mischief. He’s a funny guy, but he could also add gravitas to the heavy scenes when needed.
Anthony Hopkins for the High Prophet
The rest of the cast will mainly be made up of GCI characters, so it isn’t essential for them to look like their gaming counterparts. In fact, you’d have a job finding actors with a resemblance to Arbiter or the High Prophet. Anthony Hopkins, however, has one of the most recognizable voices in showbiz. He is great at being sinister, without raising his voice, which is just what we need for the High Prophet.
There are actually multiple High Prophets in the first Halo game, but the likelihood is that Hollywood would combine them into one supervillain. Hopkins could embody the role and bring some star credentials to the adaptation. It would need to be a fairly subtle performance, though. Overacting might make the High Prophet seem a bit farcical, so the veteran would have to pull out all his best moves.
Vin Diesel as The Arbiter
As anybody who has played the Halo games will know, there’s not a lot to love about the arbiters. That is unless you’re playing one in the multiplayer mode. They make for a super tough kill at times, particularly during pivotal points within the story. On the other hand, you do eventually end up allying with an arbiter, who becomes one of the most important characters in the game and an essential part of the fight against the Covenant.
This arbiter (known as The Arbiter) needs to be played by somebody with a recognizable voice. It should be a voice which is associated with the right kind of balance between personality and machismo. That’s why we think that Vin Diesel is a great choice. He is known for playing ‘bad guys,’ who later turn out to be down low heroes.
Simon Pegg for 343 Guilty Spark
343 Guilty Spark is the name of a sly robot who plays a big part in the Flood storyline. For a long time, the player never knows whether he can be trusted or not. The clever thing about the game is that you’re in no position to refuse his help, even if he does sound like an evil C-3PO.
There’s a got to be comedy to Guilty Spark, a strange quirkiness which borders on madness. Sorry Brits, but nobody does it better than the English. We reckon comedy veteran Simon Pegg is the perfect casting choice because he has a wonderful track record with science fiction projects. He can also switch between ‘friendly stranger at the bar’ and ‘shouty lunatic’ surprisingly fast.
Idris Elba for Master Chief
And now to the biggest pick of all, the Big Daddy of the franchise and all round good guy, Master Chief. The important thing to remember is that this role is all about the voice. If the director is planning to get rid of the helmet, we’ve already got a problem. You’re not supposed to see Master Chief’s face. You don’t have to. That’s the point. You can feel all of his emotion and his struggles in his voice. For this reason, our top pick is Idris Elba, an actor who has the looks and the voice.
He has acted up a storm in science fiction epics like Pacific Rim and he certainly has the presence required. In fact, there are few actors as adept at conveying so much emotion in their voice alone. He’d be a really popular choice for the top role as well because comic book fans are already into this guy. He might just be the one actor who could have Halo fans scratching their chins and thinking ‘Yeah, this is the guy.’