How can a TV series have a major character whose face is never seen? It happened with Charlie's Angels (though admittedly, detective agency owner Charlie was never the star), and apparently Showtime thinks it can work with the network's upcoming TV series based on the video game Halo.
Though Halo's Master Chief's face is never seen in the games, he'll be a lead character in the show, Showtime Programming President Gary Levine told CNET's sister site GameSpot.
Dealing with the concealed identity is "a key question and an important part of our series," Levine said.
In a 2007 article in Time magazine, representatives of game maker Bungie said the character is meant to stand in for the gamer, hence his face is never shown.
"If he takes off the helmet, he should be you," Marty O'Donnell, Halo's audio director, said at the time. "I mean, that's the big deal. Taking off the helmet is unacceptable."
Speaking at the TV Critics' Association summer press tour, Showtime President David Nevins called the Halo series his network's "most ambitious series ever," and noted that it will be set on multiple planets. But representatives shied away from the inevitablecomparisons.
"It is a very different genre. It's futuristic, space-based science-fiction, it's not fantasy," Nevins said during the press tour. "It took us a long time to get the script, but we felt like we had something that was really interesting and felt like it belonged on Showtime in terms of its character depth, and it's gonna be a big show."
The Halo series is expected to begin filming in 2019 for a 2020 release.