Wastedland: The Axed Fallout Movie

Not in the pitch: this guy. Or indeed any power armour

Times were an awful lot easier for Interplay back in 1998. A string of hit franchises, apparent sovereignty of the new RPG kingdom and, it appears, big, brassy enough cajones to start up a film division. While nothing much ever came of this, we now know that a Fallout movie was in the works, based on the first game. Whatever would it have been like? Let’s find out.

The film never got to full script stage, let alone to the point where anyone donned a blue jumpsuit, but dug up this weekend was a 15-page plot treatment.

It opens with a neat double-punch, demonstrating both the horror and the quirk inherent in living in a 50s inspired post-bomb wasteland: Vault dwellers attempt to deal with their locked-in lives by arranging a series of projectors that evoke catching a train across Los Angeles.

From there it’s a hybrid of Fallout staples and newer ideas (such as a direct Mad Max ‘tribute’ character), though noticeably absent are the likes of ghouls and the Brotherhood of Steel. Noticeably not absent is the line “Foreplay becomes his backstory.”

It’s very much a hero’s journey, there’s a lot more focus on the goings-on inside Vault 13, and frankly some of the suggestions sound on the unfilmable side (at least by 1998 SFX standards) but it’s a bit of a romp. Have a read here (link to PDF down at the bottom).

It is, of course, not entirely impossible that Bethesda/Zenimax will one day license out the Fallout rights for a movie. Probably depends on what happens with their ongoing argy-bargy with Interplay regarding the Fallout MMO, I guess.


  1. MrEvilGuy says:

    If Bethesda decides to make a Fallout movie, they will hire about 10 actors to play a few hundred characters.

    I foresee it.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      And every woman will do that “make sassy comment, then lean to one side and put hand on hip” thing every 3 minutes. Ohhhh Moira, Moira. And Stella too. And even that old woman. You all had the same body with a different head. How I love you all.

    • DrugCrazed says:

      “You heard about those Mudcrabs?”

    • Lost Trousers says:

      SCENE: A Wasteland. TWO MEN APPROACH.
      MAN 1: I saw a radscorpion the other day. Foul creatures.
      MAN 2: *I* try to avoid them.

      e: damnit drugcrazed, beat me by seconds

    • Mr_Day says:


      As a guy who dies 10 minutes into the film.

    • Xercies says:

      Staring pudgy faced men and women whose eyes stare into your soul

  2. jon_hill987 says:

    Did the book of Eli leave anyone else thinking that they should have put a few radscorpions in it?

    • Anguy says:

      Didn’t see it, heard it was full of bibles and religous stuff which scared me off

    • TeraTelnet says:

      I intend to watch it simply because I heard that Gary Whitta wrote the screenplay.

    • AndrewC says:

      It *is* full of bible stuff, and it is rancid propoganda for the nasty-kind-of-Christianity. Interesting here for us awsum games players, though, is just how well the tropes of reactionary, rapture-hungry fear-raddled right-wing Christianity fit in with the mechanics and aesthetics of most of the games we play.

      Destroyed worlds, no future, failed humanity, constant attacks from savage, mindless hordes of ‘others’, no faith, no trust, no hope, only war.

      They fit together perfectly.

    • SlayerCake says:

      The religious connotations boil down to “You can use religion to control the weak minded and the desperate.” and “Religion should not be used to control the weak minded and desperate but to give hope and meaning (and even that is only kinda implied) to people.” Also it ends in a kickass way.

    • Xercies says:

      Watch The Road instead its much better…

    • Jhoosier says:

      I had enough trouble reading The Road. I don’t think I could handle watching the things that take place in it.

      I really enjoyed The Book of Eli, especially the old couple. That was right out of Fallout.

    • Fumarole says:

      I watched The Book of Eli in Spanish and liked it. I don’t speak Spanish.

    • Nick says:

      Its worth watching for the visuals of the post apoc at least.

    • Resin says:

      Re: The Road – among my all time favorite books, the film is almost really good visually spot on, the insertion of certain completely unnecessary plot changes and a god awful musical score is all the more painful because the rest of the film would have been so good but was pretty much spoiled by those elements IMO.

    • HPLoveshack says:

      Religion is treated as a tool and a philosophical symbol, no positive light is shone on the traditionally despised words or actions of vehement christian nutters. Those possessed by a dangerously shallow and unquestioned understanding of religion are, if anything, implied to behave similarly to cattle.

      That sort is portrayed as lesser, animal-like, and susceptible to the whims whoever yokes them with the chains of religion. There’s no preachin’ other than some very basic “golden rule” level morality/hope bits. The sort of thing only the most rabid and annoying anti-religious sycophant could rebel against, and then only for the sake of rebellion.

      It treats religion as something like a powerful weapon, able only to channel the good/evil intent of its wielder. So don’t be scared off, it’s quite good, atmospheric, often funny, has very solid action scenes and a few excellent characters.

    • ix says:

      “The sort of thing only the most rabid and annoying anti-religious sycophant could rebel against, and then only for the sake of rebellion.”

      So yeah, I thought it pushed the religious angle a bit too hard. It was good enough (atmospheric, funny at times, great action scenes) but it jumped the shark when it absopositively had to inject religion into everything. It would’ve been better with the same religious undertones, but without the deus ex machina bits.

      I guess that makes me an anti-religious sycophant (I don’t think that word makes sense in this context, btw).

  3. Choca says:

    A Fallout movie could be so fantastic and would be so bad if ever made.

  4. DJ Phantoon says:

    Interplay also made Starfleet Command during this time.

    Really, down was the only direction they could go in, anymore.

    • Ausir says:

      It was one of my two favorite Star Trek games ever, the other one being Birth of the Federation.

    • frenz0rz says:

      Birth of the Federation was awesome, but a little annoying in that they only had access to the TNG franchise, and so could only use ships, planets, races etc. from that series. Bit hard to take a Star Trek game seriously when you get access to Galaxy class ships about 10 years into the start of the Federation, followed by a Borg invasion o.0

    • Ausir says:

      Well, at that time the licensing rights to Star Trek were quite fragmented. Just like Starfleet Command only had access to stuff from TOS, Kirk movies and the Starfleet Battles tabletop game.

  5. Tei says:

    There are already more than 30 movies about “post-nuclear wastelands”. Movies like the excellent Mad-Max serie. And, arguabily, the Planet of Apes serie.

    Making a movie about Fallout will be somewhat pointless. Say “Cadillac and Dinosaurs” and we are talking.

  6. chiroho says:

    There was a B-grade sci-fi movie release in 1977 called “Damnation Alley” and starring Jan-Michael Vincent which had a group of Air Force officers emerging from an underground bunker following a nuclear war and roaming the wasteland having encounters with giant scorpions. Not really worth watching, but another example of a “post-nuclear” movie already being done.

  7. GallonOfAlan says:


    The Damnation Alley movie was a piece of crap and is nowhere near the same league as the excellent Roger Zelazny short novel that is was very loosely based on.

    The original novel has the world’s last last Hell’s Angel called Hell Tanner driving an anti-plague serum from California to Boston across the nuclear-ravaged central United States (the Damnation Alley of the title) and is completely fucking excellent. It would make a brilliant game, movie or anything else if done properly.

    • Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

      The most excellent band Hawkwind has a track on their album PXR5 titled Damnation Alley about this very scenario, but whether it’s based on the book (Zelazny is all kinds of awesome) or the shite movie (wasn’t George Peppard in it too?) I couldn’t say. I seem to remember the novel being a text adventure on the ZX Spectrum a while back but I may be hallucinating.

    • Temple to Tei says:

      Hold on that is Judge Dredd in the Cursed Earth (comic NOT movie)
      Oooh, the little cheaters.

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      @Temple to Tei

      Damnation Alley was written in 1967, so way before 2000AD and in fact the Cursed Earth story has been acknowledged as being heavily based on it, not the other way around. The premise of the Escape From New York film is also sort of similar and the character of Snake Plissken is very similar to Hell Tanner.

      Damnation Alley is a great read and well worth picking up.

  8. TXinTXe says:

    “cajones”? Did you mean cojones? cajones means drawers, and I don’t think you really mean that, did you?

  9. Rowsdower says:

    Any one else ever see 1975’s “A Boy and his Dog”?
    I always thought this had a good bit of influence on the Fallout series if for no other reason than it has a vault in a way and well, the boy’s talking dog is referred to several times as “Dogmeat” (if I remember correctly).

    • Ryuuga says:

      Yep, a boy and his dog had many wonderful moments of recognizing details and ideas that made it into Fallout. The dystopian yet lighthearted setting is also very much Fallout, I’d say.

    • Resin says:

      Boy and his Dog was totally a fallout inspiration. Some very early Don Johnson for you there.

    • Ryuuga says:

      I seem to recall that the scary, never-seen dangerous people in ABAHD were known as glowing ones.. and if memory serves, the mysterious “ghosts” near the farms of Modoc were likewise known as glowing ghosts, but nobody had seen them, etc.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      That movie gave a hint of how epic things could be.

  10. Oneironaut says:

    Speaking of post-apocalyptic movies, I just watched Escape from L.A. last night. It was pretty fun.

  11. Navagon says:

    A Fallout movie could be great if done properly. But of course it wouldn’t be…

  12. TomA says:

    The Road was basically Fallout for me, absolutely loved that film although its one of the most depressing i’ve ever watched.

  13. Wulf says:

    And in the treatment, one of the characters is referred to as The Female, so perhaps the loss of this wasn’t such a great loss at all if the minds involved would scribble that down in a plot treatment.

    Not to mention that it’s based off of Fallout 1.

    Not a great loss, for me!

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      How would you prefer they refer to that character – given that none of them have names?

  14. ts061282 says:

    Sued by Transformers for copyright infringement…

  15. Bobsy says:

    Well then. Threads, guys?


  16. QuantaCat says:

    I find it hard to believe that if the world has ended (not is about to end) you wouldnt find fun in it, no matter what.