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Halo TV series set for 2021, casts Cortana

Natascha McElhone will take on the role of Dr. Catherine Halsey and AI construct Cortana.

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Filming is scheduled to start later this year. 

343 Industries

Showtime has found its Cortana. The network made several announcements about the upcoming Halo TV series during its TV Critics' Association press tour on Friday. Natascha McElhone, known for Californication and Solaris, will take on the role of Dr. Catherine Halsey and AI construct Cortana, according to CNET sister site GameSpot. 

Also revealed, Bokeem Woodbine will play Soren-066, a "morally complex privateer" who finds himself in conflict with Master Chief, and Shabana Azmi will play Admiral Margaret Parangosky, a character mentioned throughout multiple iterations of the Halo franchise. The rest of the new roles, all Spartan soldiers, are characters created for the TV series, according to GameSpot. Bentley Kalu will play Vannak-134, Natasha Culzac is taking on the role of Riz-028 and Kate Kennedy will play "Spartan supersoldier" Kai-125.

And now we know Halo is scheduled to debut on Showtime in the first quarter of 2021, with filming set to start later this year, according to GameSpot. Microsoft and Halo developer 343 Industries announced last summer that Showtime had ordered a 10-episode season based on the popular video game franchise.

This is the latest major news about the series since it was revealed earlier this year that Orange is the New Black and American Gods alum Pablo Schreiber would fill the role of Master Chief, the mysterious masked figure at the center of the video game. 

Showtime President David Nevins previously called the Halo series his network's "most ambitious series ever," and noted that it will be set on multiple planet. (Editors' note: Showtime is owned by CBS, which also owns CNET.)

Rupert Wyatt, who directed Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is executive producer on the show and will direct some episodes. Kyle Killen (Lone StarAwake) is on board as an executive producer, writer and showrunner.

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