Fallout TV show producer says, ‘It’s almost like we’re Fallout 5’

Previous attempts to pitch an adaptation of Fallout have apparently stalled because current rights-holder Bethesda isn’t interested in a movie or TV show that retells a story the games have already told. The showrunners of the upcoming Amazon Prime TV show got around that by pitching something new, they said in an interview with Total Film. “From the first conversation with Todd [Howard] we were most excited about an original story,” said executive producer Jonathan Nolan.

While the trailer is full of the kind of imagery that’s been used and reused in the games, from a Vault dweller stepping into sunlight to the Brotherhood of Steel in their power armor and even Dogmeat, it is telling a new story—one with a new cast of characters, played by Ella Purnell, Walton Goggins, Kyle MacLachlan, and others. Nolan compared it to his work on the Dark Knight movies, which he cowrote with his brother Christopher Nolan.

“Fallout, in my career, is closest to the work we did in adapting Batman,” he said, “where there’s so much storytelling in the Batman universe that there is no canonical version of it, so you’re free to invent your own.”

Fingers crossed the Fallout series can achieve the same trick the Batman movies did then, using familiar archetypes to tell a new story that nevertheless embodies their essence. Nolan went on to say, “Each of the games is a discrete story—different city, distinct protagonist—within the same mythology. Our series sits in relation to the games as the games sit in relation to each other. It’s almost like we’re Fallout 5. I don’t want to sound presumptuous, but it’s just a non-interactive version of it, right?”

Fallout’s TV incarnation will follow well-received videogame adaptations like Castlevania, Arcane, and The Last of Us. The bar for TV shows based on videogames sure was lower a few years ago. As co-showrunner Graham Wagner said, “Now there’s an expectation of: ‘No, they can actually be great. I watched some good ones. In a perverse way, I wish there was more snobbery so that we could have been the first!”

Fallout will be released on Prime Video on April 12.

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