For video game fans, live-action shows are always risky moves. Sure, we’ve had examples of great live adaptations from mythical book series like The Witcher and in more recent light, Sonic The Hedgehog. But Paramount’s recently televised adaptation of the iconic Halo resulted in many fans boycotting the series. Why?
To develop a better understanding of the fans’ disdain reaction, let’s briefly take a moment to dive into the universe of Halo.
Roughly 500 years into the future, advanced human civilization has spread across the far corners of the universe. Occurring at the same time, an alien race called the Covenant began to raid the humans as tests to prove their superiority and destroy a super-weapon known as the Halo Rings. To combat the Covenant and protect the rings, the humans create genetically-engineered soldiers (Spartans) to fight in this interstellar war, one in particular starring as the main character for the video game franchise, Master Chief and his AI, Cortana.
It’s every sci-fi lover’s dream; action-packed with epic guns and guts, kicking alien ass, and engaging with monsters across the galaxy, the video game franchise has climbed the ranks into the hearts of the multitude of fans. Merchandise and cosplays are just meager examples of the overwhelming love for the franchise, so when a live adaption was announced, why were fans so hesitant?
Immediately, the show already displays an overwhelming display of graphic visuals and breath-taking scenery. The episodes are already packed with just the right amount of galactic violence and gore. In addition, the appearance of Master Chief is (to the fans’ relief) accurately portrayed. So what’s the big idea behind the hate?
Between the gamers, geeks and freaks of galactic adventures and energized weapons capable of obliterating whole space monsters, the diehard fans will always gravitate to where the adventure began: the lore. And unfortunately, Paramount’s Halo series falls short of delivering the story.
Firstly, by placing a human amongst the ranks of the Covenant, it muddies the already-existing conflict and dunks the entire series into a sea of confusion and embarrassment. The Covenant are an alien race hell-bent on destroying the humans, so why keep one alive? The original concept that fans fell in love with is absent in the series, which understandably is what led to the series’ downfall. And it’s not the only series to pull that stunt.
Avatar: The Last Airbender was and still remains to occupy a place in the hearts of millions of fans. After the completion of the animated series, a live-action movie was released which, to nobody’s surprise, completely flopped. Fans protested the apparent white-washing of a few beloved characters, as well as the poor CGI for elemental bending while others felt that the story was robbed of its original potential. It’s no surprise that this movie went down as one of the greatest failures for live adaptations.
So moral of the story for future filmmakers: STICK TO THE SCRIPT. There’s nothing that fans hate more than seeing their beloved series become trashed and tarnished because producers wanted to force more pieces of an already-completed puzzle. Originality should be respected and preserved; it’s one of the main reasons that many people became fans in the first place.