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Announced yesterday, the Halo TV show has recast the actress in the role of Cortana, and has welcomed the voice actress from the games, Jen Taylor, to the project.
Cortana is an artificial intelligence construct in the Halo series, and her involvement in the Human-Covenant conflict was instrumental to numerous successes on the side of the United Nations Space Command. She was created from a copy of Dr. Catherine Halsey's brain, who is the creator of the SPARTAN-II program which would then create John-177, or Master Chief. Cortana's relationship to the character is one of extreme admiration for their abilities that set them apart from their contemporaries, and they are loyal to each other to the bitter end.
Natascha McElhone, seen in The Truman Show, The Secret of Moonacre, and Designated Survivor, was playing Cortana and Dr. Catherine Halsey in the adaptation by Showtime. However, the upheaval to the entertainment industry brought on by the pandemic has led to scheduling issues for the actress. As a result, she will no longer be able to play Cortana, but her role as Halsey is unaffected.
In a quirky twist of fate, Jen Taylor will be stepping into her virtual blue shoes instead. Taylor has lent her voice to the character in Halo 1, 2, 3, Reach, 4, and 5, and also to the virtual assistant on Windows PCs and devices. Taylor has also played Halsey in the games, excluding Halo Legends. Taylor and McElhone look very similar, too, so it's an inspired way of distinguishing the two characters where one of them is essentially an evolving copy of the other. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, Showtime is yet to state whether Cortana will be a CGI character, or whether Taylor will perform face and body capture for the artificial intelligence.
Filming on the TV adaptation of Halo began late last year, in Budapest, Hungary, and it's expected to release some time in 2021. Pablo Schreiber, from Orange Is the New Black and American Gods, is in the role of Master Chief, and Captain Jacob Keyes and his daughter Dr. Miranda Keyes will be played by Danny Sapani and Olive Gray, respectively. Fresh faces will also appear in the show, like Quan Ah, a 'shrewd, audacious 16-year-old from the Outer Colonies' and Makee, an orphaned human who is adopted by the Covenant.
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