The Big Picture
- Halo Season 2 will have more intense and visceral action scenes, creating a darker and more authentic visual experience.
- The show’s shift in tone and visual palette aims to make the action feel more subjective and immersive for viewers.
- The increase in action sequences is a response to fan feedback, with Season 2 delivering more down-and-dirty, gritty, and in-your-face battles reminiscent of war movies.
The fight against the Covenant is going to escalate in a major way in Halo Season 2. One thing viewers seemed to agree on is that the series nailed the action, capturing large-scale fights between the alien threat and the Spartans reminiscent of the games. As the series shifts to a more grounded war story in Season 2, however, fans can expect the battles to become more visceral for all involved. Speaking from the set of the show last year, series stars Kate Kennedy and Pablo Schreiber as well as director Otto Bathurst told Collider’s own Steve Weintraub and a group of other reporters how the action scenes will be more plentiful when Halo returns.
Season 1 flexed its massive budget when it dove into the massive battles with the Covenant. A highlight was The Battle of Madrigal which featured a dizzying number of extras on set along with some excellent effects to make Master Chief and the Spartans feel as powerful as they are while dispatching elites. For Schreiber, what makes Season 2 more exciting, however, is the visual tonal shift. “Yeah, that’s one of [the] things that I’m the most happy with in seeing the results this year is, it just feels vastly more authentic,” he told the visiting reporters. “The tone is the biggest improvement that I’ve seen from the footage that we shot. ‘Darker’ is a description of the tonal palette more than, I’ll say, the drama. You know, it’s more the visuals. It is dark in other ways, as well, but it’s mostly the visual palette.”
Halo is no stranger to getting dark. Halo 3: ODST was notoriously dreary as players explored New Mombasa where Covenant forces lurked in the streets, while Halo: Reach sported a bleak color palette in its own right to fit with the fall of the titular planet. With the show sporting more up close, personal, and brutal fighting, Schreiber thinks that change will better match what’s happening on-screen:
“It’s one of the things when you’re working with costumes that are plastic and not real, you have to hide that a little bit. And one of the best ways to hide that is if the visual palette is darker. If there’s more between the camera and the thing that you’re shooting, if the camera is more alive and in the action rather than being back here and seeing everything, then everything feels more authentic and more real and you feel like you’re in the action, and the action is more subjective. So that tonal shift, for me, is the biggest thing that I’m the most happy with. And that’s a function of the person who’s telling the story, creating the world that we’re living in. That’s when I say I’m happy to live in his world, it’s one of the shifts that I was the most happy with.”
The ‘Halo’ Team Learned That Action Was the Series’ Strength in Season 1
Kennedy concurred with her co-star, though she also noted how the shift in how the action is presented will also fit the more personal nature of this war story. “Yeah, there’s a huge difference in the action sequences this season,” she added. “I think they look so impressive and very visceral because you’re following them in a different way. But then we also straddle the personal stories of the effects of war, as well, in a stronger way this Season 2. So it’s a good dichotomy of both.”
The increase in action indicates that the Halo team is listening to feedback. When Season 2 began filming last year, the hope was that the clashes between the Covenant and the humans would see an uptick now that the show has laid a foundation with Season 1. Bathurst was eager to tease how the team adapted from their process behind creating the first season to make something that better fits what the fans clung to when the show finally premiered:
“We have massive action sequences, we’ve got a massive one. The whole of Episode 4 is basically wall-to-wall action for the whole of Episode 4. Episode 5 starts off with massive action, and then 6 has got– I mean, there’s a lot of action still littered around. That was what we learned from Season 1, certainly from the fans’ perspective, it was the action sequences that they really, really went for and really loved, and I think these action sequences have taken that and gone… As I say, they’re much more kind of down and dirty, and much more gritty, and much more in it, and you kind of really feel like you’re in the battle and you’re in the war. So, they are a lot more like war movies. They’re a lot more like those classic, really, really grounded, in-your-face, visceral war movies, which I think is great, and I think the fans will really respond to that.”
All of Halo Season 1 is available to stream now on Paramount+ ahead of Season 2, which premieres on February 8. Read our full guide for everything we know about the upcoming season.
- Release Date
- March 24, 2022
- Main Genre
- Steven Kane, Kyle Killen
Watch on Paramount+