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Here's what you need to know from SXSW about the new 'Halo' TV show

Earl Hopkins
Austin 360

After years in development, the "Halo" franchise is days away from fulfilling the dreams of fans who have longed for a live action take on the hugely popular video game franchise. 

Ahead of the series' March 24 debut on the Paramount+ platform, we talked to the minds behind the video game-turned-TV-show and the actors playing the iconic characters.

Here's what you should know about the new TV series before it hits the silver screen.

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It took a few tries to get the Master Chief suit right

After landing the iconic role of Master Chief, actor Pablo Schreiber was surprised to see how much fandom surrounded the game and character.

"Once I started digging into the mythology and the story, I was just blown away by the richness and the deepness of the 'Halo' universe and how much canon has already been established," Schreiber said at the "Halo" press junket during SXSW, where the TV premiered. "Just absorbing that excitement level was huge at first."

Before that, the Canadian-American actor was a casual "Halo" gamer, opting to skip the story campaigns and explore the 26th-century world on his own solo ventures.

A large part of the game's cultural status is the look of the suit synonymous with the Master Chief character, which took about three-to-four months of adjustments before it fit properly on Schreiber's 6-foot, 5-inch frame. 

Schreiber and three other Spartans that are part of the series' Silver Team were able to reveal their gear to the production crew a week or so before filming began in Budapest — where the production took place.

A familiar voice will reprise role in the live action series

Actress Jen Taylor, whose been the source of mission information for Master Chief in the "Halo" games, will reprise her role in the live action series.

Not to be confused, but the Seattle-born actor's actual face will still be concealed under the effects of motion capture, but her presence will be felt the same as it has in the gaming saga.

"I did motion capture for the last few games, so it was a good (and) comfortable transition for me," Taylor said. "It's slightly different because I'm on a TV set now with actors who are not using motion capture, they're live performances, but it was a gentle transition for me."

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'Halo' for TV has been in development for nearly a decade

Executive Producer Kiki Wolfkill said the first effort to bring the first-person shooter to the silver screen was in 2012 after the release of "Halo 4."

In that time, the show has endured many changes, including the migration from Showtime to Paramount+. But after years in development, the series was screened at South by Southwest on Monday at the Paramount.  

"I'm still slightly in disbelief," said Wolfkill, who also oversees "Halo" franchise transmedia at 343 Industries. "There's still a part of me that can't quite believe it."

From the start, Wolfkill said the goal was to explore long-form storytelling on TV, and she and others are excited to continue building out the lore surrounding the Halo-sphere.

"We want to tell the story of the Master Chief," she said. "We want to focus on a character story and develop characters in a way that's really hard for us to do in the game."

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There's a new 'Halo' character

Up and coming actress Yerin Ha joins the show's cast as a new character in the series.

Ha, previously seen in Reef Break, will play a bold 16-year-old named Kwan Ha from the Outer Colonies who unexpectedly crosses paths with Schreiber's Master Chief.

Master Chief will, indeed, take off the helmet

In line with Wolfkill and Showrunner Steven Kane's vision, more focus will be given to Master Chief's story, and his face, too. 

Taylor said peeling back the character's helmet will draw viewers more into the series and give longtime "Halo" fans a deeper appreciation for the franchise. 

"I think what will surprise people and hopefully engage them in a different way is how personal these stories are, and how much we get to know (Master Chief) a lot better as a human," Taylor said. "And I think that's an exciting twist on this story."