Amazon's Fallout Show Is Taking a Risk With Franchise Canon — It Could Pay Off

It’s time for something new.

Prime Video

From high-budget prestige dramas like The Last of Us to irreverent action shows like Twisted Metal, we suddenly find ourselves in a golden age of video game adaptations. Any game now has the potential to be spun into a gripping TV show, and the next title to get this treatment is also the most anticipated game adaptation yet: Fallout, based on Bethesda’s hit post-apocalyptic RPG franchise. Now, we have our first glimpse of how Westworld masterminds Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan intend to bring the world of the wasteland to Amazon Prime Video.

A first look for Vanity Fair has revealed that, rather than directly lifting the plot of one of the Fallout games, the series will follow Lucy (Ella Purnell), a vault dweller forced to the surface to explore the new world along with Maximus (Aaron Moten), a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, and The Ghoul (Walton Goggins), a gunslinging mutant bounty hunter.

Walton Goggins in Fallout.

Prime Video

While vaults, the Brotherhood, and mutants are all familiar elements to Fallout fans, the plot will be completely different from the games. “A lot of pitches were, you know, ‘This is the movie of Fallout 3…’” Fallout 3 and 4 game director Todd Howard told Vanity Fair. “I was like, ‘Yeah, we told that story.’ I don’t have a lot of interest seeing those translated. I was interested in someone telling a unique Fallout story. Treat it like a game. It gives the creators of the series their own playground to play in.”

This is really the only way a Fallout game could be adapted. While the games do have central narratives, they’re open-world experiences riddled with side-quests, making every player’s experience unique. The Last of Us could get away with an almost direct retelling of the game’s story because the narrative was so linear. Fallout games, however, provide blank slates for players to craft their own journeys.

Maximus, a Brotherhood of Steel squire, will be played by Aaron Moten.

Prime Video

With Joy and Nolan behind Fallout, the Westworld creatives should hopefully capture the franchise’s retrofuturistic tone while folding in plenty of twists and turns. When you have the whole wasteland to play in, why limit yourself to stories that have been told before?

Fallout premieres April 12, 2024 on Prime Video.

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