Cortana is much beloved character in the Halo series. Partnering with Master Chief throughout much of his story so far, the AI character has seen many different looks. However none have been more divisive than the appearance of the character on the forthcoming TV series. Now, a key member of the Halo team has opened up about the change.

Almost immediately upon the Halo TV series’ first trailer debuting in January, much of the fanbase focused on Cortana. In a departure from the companion’s bright blue, translucent look in the games, the live action version of Cortana appears more human. This includes a much more muted colour palette.

Speaking about the controversy ahead of the series launch, Executive Producer and Head of Transmedia at developer 343 Industries, Kiki Wolfkill, explains the reasoning behind the tweaks.  

Kiki Wolfkill on Cortana Resdesign

Cortana Comparison

“It’s so funny, because we change her design for every game. And a lot of that is driven by technology,

“A lot of the design changes as we progress through the game generations was because we had access to better graphics, technology, more pixels, and more effects. And so it’s always been about adapting Cortana to the environment.”

“In this situation, it’s so very different from the games in that she has to feel real. And by that, I don’t mean feel like a real human. She has to feel like a real AI, a real hologram, and be a character that real people are acting against… That was really the impetus in designing her – how do we make her feel very tangible in this Halo world?”

Kiki Wolfkill, Speaking to GamesRadar

Cortana Actor Shares Her Opinion

Cortana Jen Taylor

Jen Taylor, who has played Cortana since 2001’s Halo: Combat Evolved, will reprise her role in the series. Taylor herself also commented on the redesign.

“I understand why people are protective of that [original design], I am curious to see how it’s received. I’m interested in seeing something different and seeing something new. I apologise for my wishy-washiness: Yes, I understand. Yes, I’m also interested to see what she looks like in this new version.”

Jen Taylor

The Halo series is set to premiere on Paramount Plus on 24th March, 2022. There’s been no confirmation on how the series will be distributed in regions which don’t have access to Paramount Plus.

Categories: TV