Halo EP Explains Cortana’s Controversial Design Change for Live-Action Series

Kiki Wolfkill, the executive producer on Paramount’s Halo adaptation, responds to the controversy surrounding Cortana’s design change.

while some Halo fans may be upset about Cortana’s design in Paramount’s upcoming adaptation, executive producer Kiki Wolfkill says the change was necessary and intentional.

Speaking to GamesRadar+, Wolfkill opened up about the controversy surrounding Cortana’s appearance. “It’s so funny, because we change her design her for every game. And a lot of that is driven by technology,”said Wolfkill. “A lot of the design changes as we progress[ed] through the game generations was because we had access to better graphics, technology, more pixels, and more effects. And so it’s always been about adapting Cortana to the environment.”

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Wolfkill elaborates that the tweaks to Cortana’s appearance were in keeping with the major changes the adaptation makes to the source material. “In this situation, it’s so very different from the games in that she has to feel real. And by that, I do n’t mean feel like a real human,” continued Wolfkill. “She has to feel like a real AI, a real hologram, and be a character that real people are acting against… That was really the impetus in designing her – how do we make her feel very tangible in this Halo world?”

Jen Taylor, who voices Cortana in every video game installment of Halo, reprises her role as Master Chief’s AI companion in the series. While she’s aware that her character her looks very different from the version she fans may be familiar with, she’s excited to try something new with the character. “I am curious to see how it’s received. I’m interested in seeing something different and seeing something new,” said Taylor.

When early trailers for Halo arrived, fans of the franchises were enamored by the series’ faithful recreation of the games… except for Cortana. Many viewers were upset that the live-action version looked too human, ditching the character’s iconic blue appearance for one with a natural skin tone and hair.

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Cortana isn’t the only major change Halo is committing to. Another controversial decision includes the removal of Master Chief ‘s helmet, revealing his face his for the first time in Halo ‘s long-established lore. “[T]he decision to remove Chief’s helmet was not a decision made lightly, nor was it a foregone conclusion when we set out to make the show,” Wolfkill explained. “That said, it was always a goal of the show to deliver a differentiated experience from the games, not a carbon copy.”

Halo premieres on Paramount+ on March 24.

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Source: GamesRadar+

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