The Last of Us program walked so Fallout could run in the Olympic Games

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    Authentically adapting the video game experience to the small or big screen has proven to be one of the biggest challenges for directors of any caliber, particularly when it comes to games that are heavier in tone and focused on story. Paul Anderson’s Resident Evil tried with an entire reconfigured franchise that spanned over a decade, while low-key adaptations like Christophe Gans’ Silent Hill simply failed completely.

    Fortunately, things have improved in recent years, with the most recent example being Amazon’s Fallout television series. But shows like this wouldn’t have seen the light of day if it weren’t for others paving the way first.

    Examples like Resident Evil and Silent Hill left the impression that a true interpretation of a beloved game with unique elements and mature themes simply couldn’t be achieved. However, they also share a common element that is missing from the equation: having the game’s creators in the director’s chair. Ironically, that was about to change when Neil Druckmann (writer and director of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us), released a film adaptation shortly after the release of the original game.

    Image via HBO

    Given that the game won over 40 awards, was inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame, and earned universal praise for its unmatched storytelling, the idea of ​​bringing it to the big screen wasn’t so far-fetched. However, Druckmann’s plans fell into production limbo for several years, and it seemed like the project was doomed to failure until HBO writer and producer Craig Mazin entered the picture in 2019.

    After his success with Chernobyl limited series, Mazin brought a new perspective and he and Druckmann agreed that, for the sake of pacing, The Last of Us needed to be an episodic series rather than a standalone film. That decision would pay off in spades, as the show garnered numerous well-earned awards, including eight Emmy Awards that put Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, and Nick Offerman in the spotlight for their performances as Joel, Ellie, and Bill respectively. Not only that, the show was quickly renewed for a second season.

    Related: All the differences between the game and The Last of Us TV show

    Image via HBO

    Amid all this, the success of The Last of Us would also ‘light the way’ (sorry, had to) for other potential adaptation projects, including Amazon Prime’s Fallout series. Few people probably know that, since the release of Fallout 3 in 2008, Bethesda had been approached several times about a film adaptation of the franchise. However, director Todd Howard was dissatisfied with either release, warning that the wrong one in the wrong hands could undo the passionately crafted vision of the game series.

    However, just like Mazin did with Druckmann and The Last of Us, Western world Director Jonathan Nolan approached Todd Howard with the clearest vision yet. Nolan, an avid fan of the Fallout games, understood what elements were needed to bring the most iconic post-apocalyptic franchise to life.

    Related: Fallout Viewers Think They’ve Solved the Mystery of the Ghoul Vials

    Image via Prime Studios

    Rather than a direct adaptation that wouldn’t translate well to the screen, the idea was to build a remarkably accurate version of the Fallout universe, with all its aesthetic quirks and a unique story with a memorable protagonist rather than a “faceless” one. center. This gave us the undeniably charming Lucy MacLean, along with a host of fantastic characters like Howard Cooper and Maximus, who helped bring to life a compelling narrative suited to the nuclear wasteland of California.

    After its debut on Prime Video, fans were blown away by the sheer amount of authentic details, from the incredible sets to the fully functioning Pip-Boys, to the nostalgic ’60s music cues, and just about everything in between. Each episode was a real roller coaster, without a single minute wasted and with everything to prove. With Nolan’s expertise, Todd Howard finally found his theatrical vision of Fallout executed near perfection.

    Image via Prime Studios

    Before the premiere, Nolan himself revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that HBO’s The Last of Us was the main reason the Fallout series finally got the green light. Although he and Todd Howard were really ready to get things underway before The Last of Us went into production, they still faced an uncertain road ahead, given that no other similar project had set a standard for expectations. In Nolan’s words, “the bar was nonexistent,” so the risk was still there.

    However, since Joel and Ellie’s trip in The last of us Beating them and setting a new gold standard, Nolan was really relieved.

    It’s always good to be the first. But when someone does something as good as The last of us It makes it easier, because suddenly everyone understands what is possible.

    -Jonathan Nolan via The Hollywood Reporter

    In essence, The Last of Us paved the way for Fallout to move forward with truly outstanding results. Both shows are being renewed for second seasons, and fans have even been clamoring to return to some of Bethesda’s most popular Fallout game titles to further relive the experience while they wait.

    Image via Prime Studios

    Related: Fallout Viewers Find Out Where They Heard Overseer Benjamin Before

    Now, with the stellar success of Fallout added to the list, that bar not only exists but has been further solidified in an increasingly competitive industry where ambitious concepts are more often scorned than embraced. It provides more security for future projects like Netflix’s Bioshock movie, which has also been in and out of development limbo for years and definitely has plenty of artistic challenges (e.g. Big Daddies; a city at the bottom of the ocean) on its plate.

    In the meantime, a toast with Nuka Cola to Nolan, Howard and the entire cast and crew. We hope the post-apocalyptic magic continues the further we go into the wastelands.

    Be sure to check out all of our latest Fallout guides and news, like 10 Things We Hope to See in Fallout Season 2.


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