[Note: This story originally stated that Jen Taylor was also taking over the role of Dr. Catherine Halsey, who she voices in the Halo games; Showtime has reached out to inform us that Natascha McElhone will continue in the Halsey role.]
Hey, lo: The minds behind Showtime’s upcoming TV adaptation of the monumentally popular Halo video game series have hit upon a truly radical idea today: Hiring the actor who plays one of the most popular characters in the best-selling games franchise to play her in the TV series, too. Specifically, PC Gamer is reporting that Jen Taylor, who’s played A.I. sidekick/love interest Cortana in six Halo games to date, will be reprising her role opposite Pablo Schreiber in the TV video game adaptation. (And yes: Microsoft’s digital assistant is also named after the character; Taylor voices her in the U.S., to boot.)
This wasn’t initially the plan, mind you: The role of Cortana was originally cast with Designated Survivor’s Natascha McElhone in the part. But now, Showtime has turned to someone with a lot more experience flirting with faceless cyborgs, tapping prolific voice actor Taylor to take over the role she first originated way back with the first Halo in 2001.
Filming on the Halo series began late last year, with an eye toward an early 2021 release date. That’s obviously been shot all to hell by the pandemic, but the cast at least seems (relatively) stable: In addition to Schreiber and Taylor, the show’s roster includes Bokeem Woodbine, Shabana Azmi, Bentley Kalu, Natasha Culzac, and Kate Kennedy.