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Halo TV Series Secures Original Cortana Voice Actor

The Halo franchise has been a roller coaster of news as of late. Good news: The Halo live-action TV series was finally greenlit. Bad news: Halo Infinite has been delayed, and it's partially Craig the Brute's fault. Good news: The actors who will portray Master Chief and Cortana, among others, have been announced. Bad news: Neither Halo alumni Steve Downes nor Jen Taylor will return to voice their respective characters. Good news: Strike that last bit of news from the record because Jen Taylor is back in action as Cortana.


Recently, IGN got the exclusive scoop on rumblings behind the scenes of the Halo TV show. Originally, Natascha McElhone, who has starred in shows such as Designated Survivor and Californication (as well the video games Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 1 and 2), was set to step into the holographic leotard of Halo's AI mainstay Cortana. McElhone was also supposed to portray the human creator of Cortana and Spartans like Master Chief, Dr. Catherine Halsey. However, the ongoing pandemic created scheduling problems for McElhone. Because of these issues, she could only finish her work as Dr. Halsey. This left a big Cortana-shaped hole in the show, which is where Taylor came in.

Since Jen Taylor has given Cortana life ever since the original Halo landed on the OG Xbox — Taylor has also voiced Toad and Princess Peach in Super Mario games dating back to Mario Golf


Longtime Halo fans will be happy to know that Jen Taylor he was hired to fill in for McElhone. However, even though IGN broke the news, the site doesn't have any extra information, especially regarding Cortana's portrayal. Will Taylor physically stand on the set during filming, or will she provide motion capture work? Will she voice a Cortana who looks like she lept out of Halo 5, or will Taylor dub a Cortana who resembles a blue, transparent Natascha McElhone? These mysteries remain unanswered.

Since Taylor only returned to the Cortana role because McElhone could no longer pull off a double acting shift, it is unlikely similar recasting will occur. For example, Pablo Schreiber (best known for his work in American Gods and Orange is the New Black) is still set to fill Master Chief's size 18 armored combat boots. Since Schreiber is the sole actor playing Master Chief in the show, do not expect Steve Downes to replace him as Master Chief's voice. At least you can look forward to Taylor and Downes both reprising their legendary roles in Halo Infinite.