War never changes, but prestige TV sure can. Today, Bethesda announced that Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, creators of HBO’s Westworld, are taking their cinematic lens to Fallout, working with Amazon Studios to create a post-apocalyptic telly show based on the long-running nuke ’em up RPG. Hold on, though – a darkly comic show about robot cowboys, deserts and conspiracies? Sounds quite a leap for the folks behind Westworld.
Amazon Studios – the folks producing this whole thing – revealed that a Fallout telly show is in the works with a teaser on Twitter. It’s a bit fuzzy, mind – let me know if anyone works out which Ink Spots song this is.
— Amazon Studios (@AmazonStudios) July 2, 2020
Simply titled “Fallout”, the show is being headed up by Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, with Bethesda’s Todd Howard and James Altman on board as executive producers. It’s far too early to scrape together plot deets, but a Bethesda announcement suggests a show that’s “serious and harsh” in tone, peppered with “ironic humour”, “B-movie-nuclear-fantasies”, and lots of guff about how war, war never changes. Probably.
I haven’t seen Westworld (nor do I actually own a TV right now) but it does look awfully Fallout, yeah? Robot gunslingers are basically the driving aesthetic of Fallout: New Vegas, and I mind the personhood of synthetic humans being a big part of Fallout 4‘s whole deal. You could make a meta-commentary on the theme-park layout of Bethesda’s open worlds being analogous to the literal theme-park setting of the HBO series, but that might be stretching it a bit.
Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see how Fallout makes the transition. Videogame films are famously naff, but TV series’ are harder to pin down – probably due to how few of them ever see the light of day (what’s up, Halo?). That Witcher show on Netflix was quite good, though, and with a brush as broad as Fallout’s, there’s a lotta scope for how a wasteland series could play out.
Despite the tease, expect it to be a while before we catch the jolly ol’ wasteland on Amazon Prime Video. There’s no word of a date on the Fallout series, and the Kilter pair have only just started pre-production on William Gibson novel adaptation The Peripheral. As with war, contractual commitments never change.