Upcoming Game Adaptations: Amazon’s “Gonzo” ‘Fallout’ TV series

Over a year ago, vault dwellers across the streaming TV wasteland got exciting news: an official Fallout TV series was in the works! Not only that but the show was given a full series commitment. This was a big deal and signals a ton of confidence in the project.

The show announcement was dramatic in a manner that’s typical of Bethesda projects. Instead of a mysterious website and countdown, like for Fallout 4 and the survivor, we got a 23-second snippet on Twitter.

If you’re not part of the 1.3 million who have already seen the teaser, here’s a breakdown: It starts with TV static over jaunty/retro marching music and then shifts to a garbled male voice. There’s gunfire, an explosion, what sounds like a saw, more static, and then the iconic “Please Stand By” logo punctuated by the classic long tv technical difficulties beep.

That quick bit leaves me wanting a nice cold Nuka-Cola.

In addition to Bethesda, the show is being developed by the creators of Westworld,  Lisa Joy, and Jonathan Nolan of Kilter Films, along with Amazon TV Studios. Lionsgate is also on tap to executive produce.

With those folks, you know there are serious storytelling chops behind the show. Since 2019, Joy and Nolan have had an overall deal with Amazon that reportedly lasts five years and is worth 150 million dollars. And Amazon has proven more than willing to invest dollars in their projects – just look at the cash put into the upcoming Wheel of Time adaptation and the Lord of the Rings show.

However, since that official announcement, the settlers of Grayditch… excuse me… the creators of the show, have gone very quiet. The October 23rd anniversary of the Great War just passed, and I was hoping we’d have some news… any news. To quote the Fallout 3 radio host Three Dog, “What the hell is going on down there? Revolution? Vacation? Your guess is as good as mine, kiddies.”

After some bottle cap scavenging, I found this quote from Joy in an interview with Collider in August:

It is just a gonzo, crazy, funny, adventure, and mindfuck like none you’ve ever seen before. It’s pretty cool.

Dark comedy? Yes, please!

If you were worried about the tone, and that the series would be all post-nuclear seriousness and high stakes with none of the comedic heart that makes Fallout so iconic, you can rest easy. This show is not going to end up in the hall of video game adaptation shame.

The series is listed in pre-production on IMDB, and the information there is still frustratingly scant. But back in August, Joy told Post Credit Podcast via BroBible that she was producing the show for two writers…

We’re producing it for these two brilliant writers, and the world that they are making is so gonzo and so fucking crazy. It’s just ridiculously baller, and I can’t wait. It’s totally irreverent and mad and humorous and just insane. It’s just insane.

These two writers aren’t mentioned by name, so the not-so-patient waiting and hunting for more information continues. The Fallout fandom has been, how do we say, tested (*cough* experimented on) in the past. So these small news bits were a relief. Personally, I’m not convinced that this past year isn’t some virtual reality experiment courtesy of the fine folks at Vault-Tec.

But for now… Please stand by…

Sources: Fallout TV TeaserCollider Interview with Lisa JoyBroBible Interview with Lisa JoyVariety

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