Paramount+: Taylor Sheridan Scores Zoe Saldana for Lioness, and Billy Bob Thornton for Land Man; Halo Renewed

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Paramount+ is doing everything it can to score viewers as the news from the streamer today is quit impressive!

Halo fans have a lot to look forward to, as do Taylor Sheridan fans as casting for two new shows is underway.

Check it out.

Halo Still

Paramount+ today announced that its highly anticipated upcoming series Halo, based on the iconic Xbox franchise, has been renewed for a second season prior to the series’ upcoming launch on Thursday, March 24, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and in all international markets where the streaming service is available.

In addition, David Wiener will join the series as showrunner and executive producer for the second season.

“Halo is an expansive, world-building opportunity for Paramount+, and we’re thrilled to give fans a second season to look forward to before we launch the series next month,” said Tanya Giles, chief programming officer, Paramount+.

“Halo will deliver a thrill-ride for fans of the game and non-gamers alike, as it ties together stunning visuals with a deeper look at the personal stories behind these iconic characters, all set within an epic battle for the future of humanity.”

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“Halo takes us into a dazzling world that we believe will enthrall audiences as much with its electrifying visuals as its bold, character-driven storytelling,” said David Nevins, chief content officer of scripted originals, Paramount+, and chairman and chief executive officer, Showtime Networks Inc.

“This second-season pickup reflects the confidence we have in the power of this epic series to attract and engage viewers.

"Halo has been a great collaboration with Amblin and 343 Industries, and we are all grateful for the opportunity to continue it.”

In its adaptation for Paramount+, Halo will take place in the universe that first debuted in 2001 with the launch of Xbox’s first Halo game.

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Dramatizing an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant, Halo the series will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future.

The series stars Pablo Schreiber as the Master Chief, Spartan-117; Natascha McElhone as Dr. Halsey, the brilliant, conflicted and inscrutable creator of the Spartan super soldiers; and Jen Taylor as Cortana, the most advanced AI in human history, and potentially the key to the survival of the human race.

Additional stars include Bokeem Woodbine, Shabana Azmi, Natasha Culzac, Olive Gray, Yerin Ha, Bentley Kalu, Kate Kennedy, Charlie Murphy, and Danny Sapani. Also joining the cast as original characters are Ryan McParland, Burn Gorman, and Fiona O’Shaughnessy.

In other news, Paramount+ today announced that Academy Award winner Billy Bob Thornton has been tapped to lead the upcoming drama series Land Man.

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It's not his first time working with Sheridan, as he made an appearance early in 1883.

From executive producer and Academy Award nominee Taylor Sheridan, the series will feature Thornton as a crisis manager for an oil company.

Produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios, Land Man will begin production in 2023.

Based on the notable 11-part podcast Boomtown, Land Man is set in the proverbial boomtowns of West-Texas and is a modern-day tale of fortune-seeking in the world of oil rigs.

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The series is an upstairs/downstairs story of roughnecks and wildcat billionaires that are fueling a boom so big it’s reshaping our climate, our economy and our geopolitics.

“We are in the privileged position to be able to work with people that we truly admire,” said David C. Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios.

“With Land Man, Taylor developed it with Billy Bob in mind, and we were thrilled when he came on board. He is not only one of the greatest actors of our generation but also a true creative partner.”

Land Man will be executive produced by Taylor Sheridan, David C. Glasser, Ron Burkle, Bob Yari, David Hutkin and Geyer Kosinski.

The series will also be executive produced by Dan Friedkin, Jason Hoch, Scott Brown and Megan Creydt.

Zoe Saldana on the Red Carpet

Paramount+ today also announced that Zoe Saldaña is set to star in and executive produce the service’s upcoming drama series Lioness, also from Sheridan.

Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman, with her production company, Blossom Films, will join Lioness as an executive producer.

Produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios, the series will begin production in June 2022 with Tom Brady at the helm as executive producer and showrunner.

Lioness is based on a real-life CIA program and follows a Marine recruited to befriend the daughter of a terrorist to bring the organization down from within.

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Saldaña plays Joe, a strong-willed, hard-nosed, station chief of the CIA’s Lioness program, tasked with training, managing and leading her female undercover operatives working to assassinate the world’s most dangerous terrorists.

“I am a huge fan of Taylor Sheridan’s work and am honored to help him tell his next amazing story with Lioness,” said Tom Brady, showrunner and executive producer.

“Taylor has created an epic, gripping, global spy thriller centered on a group of complex, strong women, and I can’t imagine anyone better to help bring these characters to life than fellow executive producers Nicole Kidman and Zoe Saldaña.”

“Lioness is based on an incredible, largely unknown program between the CIA and special forces, where U.S. female soldiers would infiltrate the local community and gather intelligence,” said David C. Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios.

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“Taylor has crafted an intense and gripping story within this uncharted world, and we are honored that it will be brought to life on Paramount+ through the acting and producing talents of Zoe Saldaña alongside executive producers Nicole Kidman and showrunner Tom Brady.”

What do you think, TV Fanatics?

You're not getting overwhelmed, are you?

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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