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Teaser photo and new info revealed on Microsoft's Halo: Nightfall series

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains minor spoilers that some readers may wish to avoid.

Last week, as part of massive layoffs at the company, Microsoft announced plans to close Xbox Entertainment Studios, the division responsible for producing original programming for the Xbox platform. But Microsoft reassured fans of its Halo franchise that the two live-action series currently in production will not be affected by the cuts - quite a relief for those looking forward to watching these upcoming shows. 

Today, new details have emerged about the first of the two shows, Halo: Nightfall. Microsoft has previously confirmed that Nightfall will set the stage for its next major game release, Halo 5: Guardians, and will tell the story of the 'mystery Spartan' known as Agent Locke.

Variety revealed that Agent Locke will be played by Mike Colter (pictured above), who many will know from hit CBS show The Good Wife, and who has also appeared in American Horror Story and The Following, as well as movies such as Zero Dark Thirty, Salt and Men In Black 3.

The character of Agent Locke works with the Office of Naval Intelligence, and his team is sent to look into terrorist activity on a 'distant colony world'. Locke and his colleagues find themselves "drawn to an ancient, hellish artifact during their search." Pocket-lint describes Locke as "a rising star in the futuristic army who harbors reservations about those in higher command positions."

Colter said the script was "incredibly gripping", and described a scene that was filmed in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in which he is "chasing an enemy who poses a serious threat to the people Agent Locke has sworn to protect through the city." He added: "The scene is an action-packed sequence that involves some cool special effects and a lot of coordination with the stunt team to fulfill the director's vision. I can't wait to see how it turns out."

Microsoft has said before that you won't necessarily need to watch Halo: Nightfall to fully appreciate its next game, but it will add some context and background to the new character. But equally, as Colter explains, you won't need to be a Halo fan to enjoy Nightfall. "Not only does Halo: Nightfall cater to the hardcore Halo fans," he said, "but it's also designed so newcomers to the franchise, like me, can easily enter the Halo universe, identify with the characters and be entertained on screen."

Visitors to Comic-Con this week will get the first official glimpse of the show, which will premiere this autumn, and will be available via Xbox Video, including on the Xbox One and 360, Windows PCs and Windows Phones. It will also be included in the upcoming 'Master Chief Collection' for Xbox One this holiday season. 

Nightfall is being produced by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, American Gangster), with Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Battlestar Galactica, Under The Dome, Prison Break) directing the series, which was written by Paul Scheuring (Prison Break, Klondike). In addition to Nightfall, a second live-action series - to be broadcast on TV, and being produced by Steven Spielberg - is also on the way.

Source: Variety | upper image via Variety; lower image via Microsoft

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