SEATTLE (AP) — “Halo: Nightfall” is returning to familiar territory.
The overseers of the popular franchise at 343 Industries announced Saturday at the PAX Prime gaming convention that the upcoming live-action “Halo” series would take place on a surviving fragment of the Alpha Ring, the intergalactic locale from the original “Halo: Combat Evolved” sci-fi shooter.
“Our director, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, felt really strongly that he wanted the setting to be a character,” executive producer Kiki Wolfkill told hundreds of fans gathered inside Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.
Following the destruction of the Alpha Ring at the end of “Halo” by series protagonist Master Chief, the fragment now orbits an unidentified sun, making the surface inhospitable for several hours a day.
“We really dug into how this fragment ended up there,” Wolfkill said.
The live-action series takes place between the video games “Halo 4″ and “Halo 5: Guardians,” which is set for release next year exclusively on the Xbox One console from Microsoft Corp. “Nightfall” centers on agent Jameson Locke, who is portrayed by Mike Colter and will be a playable character in “Halo 5.”
The multi-part film will be released this year ahead of a live-action “Halo” TV series that will be produced by Steven Spielberg. The untitled show is scheduled to debut next year on Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, as well as the Showtime network.
During this weekend’s PAX Prime panel, the developers also teased more details about “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” which will bring four previous “Halo” installments to the next-generation Xbox One console alongside “Nightfall” on Nov. 11.
“Halo” audio director Paul Lipson played new tracks from Misha Mansoor and Steve Vai that will be part of a remastered edition of “Halo 2.”
“It just wouldn’t be ‘Halo 2′ without a guitar legend,” Lipson said.
Saturday’s panel kicked off with a surprise marriage proposal: a man dressed in a comical “Mister” Chief costume kneeled down on one knee and asked a woman in “Halo: ODST” armor to marry him. She had to remove her gauntlet to put on the ring.
PAX Prime, a four-day, fan-centric celebration of gaming, continues through Monday with game previews, contests, tournaments and panels.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang .
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