Bethesda's Fallout TV Show Boss Shares Details That Might Get Gamers Riled Up

Fallout 3 trailer image
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Video games are still an incredibly popular source for film adaptation, despite the fact that few movies based on games are actually seen as any good. Recently, we’ve seen a new approach with popular titles like The Last of Us and Fallout being adapted as TV series rather than film. Whether it works remains to be seen, but these two shows, while both being based on games will be quite different in their approach, because while The Last of Us is expected to be a reasonably faithful adaptation of the first game, it turns out the Fallout series won’t actually be based on any of the games.

Fallout is an incredibly popular game series whose first entry arrived from developer Interplay in 1997. However, since Fallout 3’s release in 2008, the franchise has been run by game publisher Bethesda Softworks. The more recent Fallout games have nearly all been big hits, the less said about Fallout 76 the better, so fans might be hoping to see a Fallout series from Amazon that adapts the story from one of the games, but Bethesda’s Todd Howard recently told Lex Fridman that the series will be set in the same world as the games, but will tell a new story. He explained… 

I don't want to spoil, but when people see it, I think they'll just be like, ‘Wow.’ The other thing, we're approaching it, is very different where when people would say they wanted to make a movie, they wanted to tell the story of Fallout 3 or then tell the story of Fallout 4. And for this it was, ‘Hey, let’s do something that exists in the world of Fallout. It’s not retelling a game story. It’s basically an area of the map, and let’s tell a story here that fits in the world that we have built, doesn’t break any of the rules, can reference things in the games, but isn’t a retelling of the games. It exists in the same world, but is its own unique thing, so it adds to it while also, people who haven’t played the games, who can’t experience how crazy cool Fallout is, can watch the series.

While it’s understandable that there are probably fans who would love to see Fallout 3 or Fallout 4 adapted directly, it makes some sense why they might consider going in a different direction. While the Fallout games have a main storyline, as open world games full of different things for the player to do, that main story is just part of what fans of the games love, and it might not even be the part they love most. A movie, or even a TV series, would likely need to focus on the main storyline, and thus the flavor of the game would get lost, as the open world games became a linear story on a screen.

And the Fallout games themselves have largely been their own stories. While the games are numbered sequels, they have not been the continuing adventures of one character like the Uncharted games, which turned it's film adaptation into a Nathan Drake prequel story. Each Fallout story has been a new adventure in the world, so it makes sense the show will be just one more. 

A brand new story that isn’t tied to the games will have fewer expectations as to how it will be told, it can focus more on a single story without baggage, or even be a series of disconnected adventures like a bunch of side quests. And the story can still be connected to the games, as the world of the Amazon series will still be the same world as the games. The events of the Fallout games still happened here, characters from the games could even still show up. What will ultimately look like we still don't really know, it's too early, but it does look like the Wasteland is coming.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.