Microsoft is planning a live-action Halo web series that will serve as a precursor to Halo 4 and as a gateway drug into the Halo universe for those not familiar with the property (those people still exist?).
The scoop comes courtesy of Variety, who chatted with Microsoft and developer 343 Industries — the company now holding the keys to the Halo franchise. According to Microsoft and 343, the Halo web series, entitled “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,” is more than just a hype-generating tie-in to Halo 4, which releases November 6. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will serve as a easy access point for people who are curious about the Halo franchise but don’t feel they have the built-up knowledge base to enjoy the franchise this late in the game.
Therefore, Microsoft is taking the origin story approach with Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, introducing a completely new character to the Halo franchise that will act as the eyes and ears to this vast universe. This unnamed character is a young UNSC cadet who’s inspired by Master Chief and eventually becomes the leader aboard the UNSC Infinity spacecraft. You’ll then be seeing this new character in Halo 4, hence the whole tie-in thing.
"We needed a way to ensure there was a way for people to get onboard this universe without feeling intimidated," said Frank O’Connor, franchise development director at 343 Industries. Therefore, the web series is “an origins story that teaches you about a lot of different facets of the universe."
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will be broken into five installments, each clocking in at around 15 minutes. New episodes will air once a week exclusively at Machinima.com and on Halo Waypoint, leading up to the release of Halo 4 in early November.
Unfortunately, little else is known about the web series at this time. Microsoft is remaining rather coy on the subject of directors and cast, as well as actual plot. However, we can expect a blowout of information at the San Diego Comic-Con this July.
Until then, what do you think of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn? Judging from the reactions to past Halo live-action shorts, the collective hivemind of the Internet really digs them. Can the same be said about this latest Microsoft-sanctioned effort?