Halo’s Pablo Schreiber went to the Master Chief Boot Camp to learn more about the franchise

Taking on the lead role in a Halo TV adaptation is no easy task. Anyone who’s played a Halo game knows how incredibly deep the franchise’s lore is. There’s a lot to know and if you’re playing a character as central as Master Chief, that’s a lot of research to dig into. Fortunately, for Pablo Schreiber, there was a training camp for that.

The actor stars as Master Chief/John-117 in the upcoming Paramount+ series and admits that prior to his casting he didn’t know Halo at all.

“I knew him, but more from a peripheral point of view,” he told GameSpot. “I didn’t grow up watching TV or playing video games, so my only access to video games was as a teenager, going to friends’ houses and playing games after school. I played Halo a few times but I had never played the campaign or the story version. I only played [multiplayer].”

Once he landed the role, however, Schreiber discovered just how vast Halo’s story is.

“It was really a shock when I got the job and, and I went to 343 for their boot camp – which is basically like an information download – I got so many Halo, weft of background, information and history as I could in about five days,” the actor explained. Bootcamp didn’t stop there, however.

“And then they sent me back with this treasure trove of research, which started and was centered around the game cutscenes, obviously,” Schreiber continued. “From start to finish, everything that had been established inside the video games that I had at my disposal. But beyond that, they sent me a few novels, they sent me novels graphics, all the animated shorts, all the live-action movies. And what I started to realize is that the extent of what has been established in terms of mythology and lore isn’t just overwhelming, I mean, it’s an obvious word to throw around.

There’s certainly less homework than digesting virtually everything Halo has to offer. Yet, while it may have been an intimidating mountain to climb, it did much to help Schreiber fully understand what he was becoming an important part of.

“What I love so much is how deep and rich and well thought out the entire universe is,” he said. “So that’s where my excitement started as a creator and as a storyteller is that I was going to have access to all of this information for storytelling purposes, but also that we were going to have the honor, really, to bring this amazing universe to so many millions of people who haven’t played the game or experienced the game. Now they can see why we love this universe so much.

You can see this universe when Halo premieres Thursday on Paramount+. In his review of the series, Chris E. Hayner writes, “Halo is a show that shouldn’t work, in the grand scheme of things. After more than seven years in development — including showrunner, director, and network changes — it’s actually surprising that it exists at all. Fortunately, it does, however. What the team behind the show has created is an interesting new way to explore the Halo franchise. He stands alone, far from the games, but he is only stronger for it.”

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