Pablo Schreiber, who will be playing the soldier behind that iconic green armour in the Halo TV show, has stated that he won't be mimicking Master Chief's voice from the games.
Since Halo: Combat Evolved, actor Steve Downes has lent his voice to Spartan John-117, and he actually never formally auditioned for the part. He got the job based on a recommendation from the music director at Bungie, and the rest was history. As an almost-silent protagonist in the earlier chapters of the Halo series, it was vital that the voice of the character would bring gravitas to the times when he would comment on his surroundings. The direction for his performance drew from Clint Eastwood, as you might have guessed, and gamers hold the character in high regard for his tragic story and emotional development in the midst of continual conflict.
I don't do impressions, I play characters. While everyone knows the Master Chief, this show is an opportunity for all of us to get to know John. Thank you for your kind words. We are all working incredibly hard to bring something to the screen that everyone can get behind... https://t.co/wXd0XuGt6d- Pablo Schreiber (@schreiber_pablo) March 3, 2021
A fan reached out to Schreiber on Twitter, asking that he go gung-ho to replicate Downes' voice to "nail down the Chief" for the live-action version of the soldier. However, the actor was clear that he will be interpreting the character in his own way. "I don't do impressions, I play characters," said Schreiber in response. "While everyone knows the Master Chief, this show is an opportunity for all of us to get to know John. Thank you for your kind words. We are all working incredibly hard to bring something to the screen that everyone can get behind..."
It's a decidedly different approach to that of Henry Cavill's portrayal of a certain white-haired monster hunter. "When I heard Doug Cockle's incredible performance in The Witcher 3 - which I've heard time and after time for playing the games a lot - I realised that I could utilise something like that and create the stony exterior," explained the actor in an interview in 2019. But, it's not an exact copy, because Cavill blends his own English accent with Cockle's gravelly tones to produce a very different voice for Geralt of Rivia.
Personally, I think it's more exciting to see an adaptation add to the original story than attempt to follow in its footsteps. Halo's transmedia boss Kiki Wolfkill admitted that this approach will have hits and misses with fans, but that the team is taking those risks in order to deliver a different experience of the world of Halo. "It's a constant challenge; sometimes a struggle," she said. "There's different burdens that will go onto the TV show than the game carries. So if we can navigate where we have a little bit of freedom to try and explore some different ideas or express a character differently, we try and take those."
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