The Halo TV series has its first big controversy: Cortana’s new design

Cortana in the Halo series
(Image credit: Paramount)

The Halo series trailer has launched – and the main talking point is undoubtedly the reaction to Cortana’s controversial redesign.

Master Chief’s AI companion, played by game actor Jen Taylor in the upcoming Paramount series, is a departure from the iconic design from Bungie and 343 Industries’ titles. Whereas that was blue and far more robot-looking, the TV show’s iteration is far more human-looking.

"Can we Sonic movie them into changing Cortana please?" one viewer said, making pointed reference to the pushback over Sonic the Hedgehog’s initial design in the 2020 release.

Others have suggested improvements for Cortana. Journalist Paul Tassi remarked, "She needs to be… more fully blue and hologram-y." Another added, "Kind of wish Cortana wasn’t so human looking and [instead] more accurate to games."

"At least every Halo fan can agree on the worst Cortana design," one Twitter account said. "Still undecided about Cortana and Chief’s voices, but wow!" another said

While Cortana has grabbed most of the attention, there is also some consternation about Master Chief’s voice. Pablo Schreiber is replacing Steve Downes, who has portrayed the video game character since 2001’s Halo. One commented that it was their "least favorite part" of the Halo series trailer.

The Halo series is set to hit streaming service Paramount Plus on March 24. While focus will be drawn towards Cortana, there could be a reason for it. Halo is set to take place on the "Silver Timeline", which is set to be separate canon from the games.

In a Master Chief mood? Here are the best Halo games, ranked. 

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.