Fallout TV Series For Prime Video Is Still Happening, Jonathan Nolan Set To Direct

It's no secret that "Westworld" showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan are big ol' video game nerds. Their love of button-smashing has even filtered its way into their otherwise dead-serious HBO sci-fi series. As /Film's Jacob Hall observed back in 2016, "'Westworld' is not a show about video games per se, but it is a show that is well-aware of electronic entertainment, how it's evolving, and how people engage with it."

Why bring this up? Well, it's because Nolan and Joy's Kilter Films is now moving forward with a Prime Video series based on the "Fallout" video games developed by Interplay Entertainment in 1997 and published by Bethesda Softworks since 2004. Almost a year and a half after the show was first announced in July 2020, Deadline has confirmed that Nolan will direct its premiere episode, much like he did with "Westworld." Production will begin at some point in 2022, with Geneva Robertson-Dworet (the co-writer of "Tomb Raider" and "Captain Marvel") and "Portlandia" scribe Graham Wagner serving as showrunners.

For those not familiar, the "Fallout" video games take place in a future post-apocalyptic wasteland laid to ruin by nuclear war. In terms of the aesthetic, their setting takes heavy influence from mid-20th century U.S. art and pop culture — the kind that blended hopefulness about what the technologies of tomorrow could bring with the ever-present fear that a global nuclear holocaust was just around the corner.

Video Game TV Shows: The Next Big Thing?

As someone who's never played a "Fallout" video game before (what can I say? I'm a filthy casual who spends more time on stuff like "Mario Kart"), I'm going to let /Film's Jacob Hall explain what a TV show adaptation could bring to the table:

When it comes to providing fodder for a television adaptation, the "Fallout" games are more of a canvas than anything else. In both the early games and the newer ones, players have a great deal of control over the narrative. Are they a hero or a villain? Do they talk their way out of fights or go in guns blazing? Do they care about rebuilding civilization or do they simply want to survive? The real star of Fallout has been the setting: a ruined world struggling to get back on its feet, filled with all kinds of funny, tragic, frightening, and dramatic stories.

For me, what's most interesting is the sheer number of live-action video game-based TV shows that are now in the pipeline. Besides "Fallout," there's "The Last of Us" at HBO, "Halo" at Paramount+, and a "Resident Evil" series at Netflix, to name but a few examples. In a way, though, it makes sense that live-action video game TV adaptations would start to become more commonplace than films based on popular gaming titles (though there are still plenty of those to look forward to). The long-form narrative design of television is simply a better fit than movies for a lot of modern video game mechanics, particularly those in a property like "Fallout."

"Fallout" has yet to receive a premiere date from Prime Video.