Fallout Producer Jonathan Nolan Wonders ‘Where Are All the Original Stories?’

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Summary

  • Jonathan Nolan addresses Hollywood’s lack of originality amidst rise in quality of TV adaptations.
  • Nolan emphasizes importance of maintaining love for originality in television and filmmaking.
  • Nolan opts for adaptations that allow for storytelling flexibility and changes to respect original creators.



The drastic rise in quality of TV adaptations (either from books, video games, movies, or anywhere else) has left audiences with a near infinite amount of amazing new shows to binge-watch. However, it has also left some producers and creators, including Jonathan Nolan, to wonder where Hollywood’s originality has gone. Nolan executive produced Prime Video’s Fallout series – an adaptation of the hit sci-fi video game franchise – alongside Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner. But, Nolan is also responsible for some of the most-beloved modern (and original) sci-fi movies of the 21st century, including Interstellar and Memento, which he co-wrote with his brother Christopher Nolan.

Fallout

Fallout

4/5

Release Date
April 10, 2024

Seasons
1


Jonathan Nolan spoke to Variety about the rise in video game adaptations and addressed his concerns for the future of television. Nolan brought up a conversation he had with someone before the interview, who told him that Interstellar is still one of the highest-grossing original movies of the last decade. Nolan described this as “heartbreaking.” The writer and producer said the conversation left him feeling shocked, and had him wondering, “Where are the original stories?” Nolan clarified that he loves working on adaptations (having previously overseen HBO’s Westworld as well as Fallout) but hopes that television can maintain its love of originality, a sentiment which he believes has been lost in the world of filmmaking. Nolan said:

“Adaptations are great, and I’m so happy with the way Fallout has worked, but I think it will be a real shame if television went the same way that filmmaking has gone.”



Jonathan Nolan is Careful When Working on Adaptations

While adaptations of any kind come with a pre-sold audience, a buzzword which always gets studio executives excited about a new project, they also come with high expectations. It will always be impossible to impress an entire fan base, and hardcore fans aren’t afraid to let their criticisms be known online. Nolan touched on this during the interview, and revealed the type of adaptations he levitates towards.

“I have been careful to avoid working on any kind of adaptation in which the expectation is that it has to be rigorous, because you have no room to play,” Nolan said.


Related

Fallout Game Director Shares Disappointing View on Other Adaptations After Prime Video Show Success

Fallout’s game director Todd Howard says an Elder Scrolls adaptation isn’t happening anytime soon.

Prime Video’s Fallout is set within the world of the games, but tells an original story in a new location. This originality gave Nolan the flexibility to tell his own story within a franchise that he has loved for years. Nolan continued:

“So I never was interested in working on a ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Lord of the Rings.’ I like these hybrid products; you’re adapting but you’re still finding a way to exercise your own storytelling muscle. With true adaptation, you’re always changing. I mean, even the word adaptation implies a sense of transition or changing. If you respect something, you have the guts to tell the original creators and fans, ‘We’re going to find a path to a respectful and heartfelt adaptation, but we have to change some things over here to make it work.’”


Fallout has already been renewed for a second season on Prime Video and fans cannot wait. Season 1 is among the highest-rated and most-popular video game adaptations of all-time. Set in a 1950s-inspired, retro-futuristic apocalypse, Fallout follows three distinctly different survivors; Lucy (Ella Purnell), Maximus (Aaron Moten), and The Ghoul (Walton Goggins), as they journey across the Wasteland to hunt down a rogue scientist. No release window has been revealed for Season 2 yet.

Fallout
is available to stream on Prime Video.


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