Amazon Studios has licensed the rights to the best-selling video game franchise Fallout, with married writers and showrunners Joy and Nolan attached to oversee the potential TV series. The project is currently in development but has a series commitment penalty attached. That means that if Amazon execs like the script, Fallout would bypass the traditional pilot stage and go directly to series (or if it is passed over, all involved would be paid out as if it had). A writer is not currently attached.
Making its debut in 1997, Fallout is set in the 22nd century, following a worldwide nuclear war, in an alternate future envisioned by Americans in the late 1940s. The series takes place in a harsh wasteland that contrasts with the previous generation’s utopian idea of a better world through nuclear energy.
Joy and Nolan will exec produce the series via their Kilter Films banner in association with game publishers Bethesda Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks. Kilter’s Athena Wickham, Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard and Bethesda Softworks’ James Altman will also exec produce.
— Amazon Studios (@AmazonStudios) July 2, 2020
“Fallout is one of the greatest game series of all time,” Joy and Nolan said in a joint statement. “Each chapter of this insanely imaginative story has cost us countless hours we could have spent with family and friends. So we’re incredibly excited to partner with Todd Howard and the rest of the brilliant lunatics at Bethesda to bring this massive, subversive, and darkly funny universe to life with Amazon Studios.
Fallout is the latest TV project that Joy and Nolan have in the works at Amazon. The duo are in preproduction on an adaptation of William Gibson’s novel The Peripheral (about a woman in near-future America). Joy and Nolan, who also have other high-profile projects in the works at Amazon, will continue to showrun HBO’s Westworld and produce The Peripheral as both projects stemmed from their previous overall with Warners. Sources note that when factoring in the couple’s deal to remain on Westworld for as many as three more seasons, the value of their Amazon deal clocks in at an estimated $200 million. (Westworld has been renewed for a fourth season.)
“Over the last decade, we looked at many ways to bring Fallout to the screen,” said Howard, executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios. “But it was clear from the moment I first spoke with Jonah and Lisa a few years ago, that they and the team at Kilter were the ones to do it right. We’re enormous fans of their work and couldn’t be more excited to work with them and Amazon Studios.”
Fallout is the latest high-profile genre drama in the works at Amazon. The company is also prepping its highly anticipated Lord of the Rings TV series as part of a global rights deal that may make it the most expensive TV show ever. A Wheel of Time drama is also set up at the retail giant/streamer, as is another season of The Expanse. Sources note Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a big sci-fi fan, whose favorite book also happens to be … The Expanse.
“Fallout is an iconic global franchise, with legions of fans worldwide and a rich, deeply compelling storyline that powers it. And Jonah and Lisa are the perfect storytellers to bring this series to life,” said Albert Cheng, COO and co-head of television at Amazon Studios. “We’re thrilled to join with Bethesda to bring Fallout to television.”
Fallout arrives as the latest video game to get the TV series treatment. Showtime has also spent years developing its Halo TV series, HBO is prepping a take on The Last of Us, and Netflix has already found success with its take on The Witcher, among others.
Bethesda and Zenimax are repped by Del Shaw.