Halo TV Series sparks debate among fans because of Cortana’s appearance

Sam Smith
Cortana in Halo343 Industries

The Halo TV series has fans of the franchise excited to finally see Master Chief’s adventures depicted in live action, but the revelation of Cortana in the trailer has caused some concern.

The first trailer for the Halo TV series shows a mostly faithful recreation of the Halo universe with some characters, such as Master Chief, looking nearly identical to their in-game counterparts. However, some fans are disappointed by the appearance of Cortana, who serves as Chief’s AI partner in the games, and with whom he shares a complicated relationship.

The appearance of Cortana in the trailer for the new Halo TV series is by far the most jarring moment, so it’s easy to see why some fans have fixated on it. Seeing Cortana in CGI, but not in her usual blue form is different from what most expected. It’s especially noticeable when so much else in the trailer looks so similar to the games, but plays out in live action.


Cortana Halo TV seriesParamount Pictures
Cortana in the Halo TV series.

Why are some Halo fans disappointed by Cortana’s appearance?

The main complaint is that Cortana isn’t depicted in her trademark blue, like most human-designed AIs in the Halo universe. Or that the character is animated when every other Halo character is portrayed by an actor.

Some fans are even comparing the situation to the controversy that surrounded the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie. This is when Sonic’s original design received such a backlash, that the studio decided to change it completely, making it appear closer to that of the games.

Here’s what some Halo fans are saying about Cortana’s appearance in the Halo TV series on Twitter:

Some are hoping that enough pressure will convince the studio to change Cortana’s design:

Although some fans are more supportive of Paramount’s decision to depict Cortana without her blue tinge, saying:

While others are just excited to finally see Cortana in a live-action Halo TV series:

Why does Cortana look different in the Halo TV series?

Instead of casting a new actress to portray Cortana in the Halo TV series, Paramount has hired Jen Taylor to reprise her role from the games. While Taylor is no stranger to live-action productions, the studio has decided to animate her character with her just providing the voice. However, Cortana in the TV series also resembles Taylor more closely than Cortana did in the games.

Casting Jen Taylor lends an incredible amount of authenticity to the character of Cortana, and Taylor’s voice saying the iconic line “Hello, Master Chief” instantly reminds fans of their first meeting in Halo 1. So it’s clear to see why Paramount were keen on casting Taylor, although why they chose to animate the character is less clear.

Perhaps it’s to make sure viewers can tell the difference between a human and an AI in the Halo TV series? Or perhaps retaining the character’s blue tinge from the games didn’t fit the design aesthetic of the TV series? It remains to be seen if the studio will cave to pressure from disgruntled fans, or if “finishing this fight” is something they’re simply not interested in, meaning this new version of Cortana is here to stay.

The Halo TV series will stream on Paramount+ on March 24, 2022.