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The First ‘Fallout’ Trailer is a Retro-Futurist Gorefest

Prime Video has opened the vault doors and released the first official trailer for its upcoming Fallout series. Created by the renowned duo Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy of Westworld fame, this upcoming video game TV series adaptation, inspired by Bethesda’s hit post-apocalyptic RPG, promises a gripping narrative. The upcoming series will catapult viewers into a tumultuous future where, in the year 2077, Earth is ravaged by nuclear war and will tell the story “of haves and have-nots in a world in which there’s almost nothing left to have.”

The official logline for the series reads: “Based on one of the greatest video game series of all time, Fallout is the story of haves and have-nots in a world in which there’s almost nothing left to have. Two-hundred years after the apocalypse, the gentle denizens of luxury fallout shelters are forced to return to the irradiated hellscape their ancestors left behind—and are shocked to discover an incredibly complex, gleefully weird, and highly violent universe waiting for them.”

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Ella Purnell’s Lucy steps out of the vault for the first time | Image: Prime Video

The teaser from Prime Video’s Fallout perfectly captures the retro-futurist vibe and style that defined the games, and every detail seems to pay homage to the aesthetics of the past, albeit with a sci-fi infusion. The 2.5-minute preview gives us our most detailed glimpse yet into the main cast, characters, and the overall world of the show. In addition to the visuals, the streamer also teased character descriptions for the primary cast, providing us with further insights.

We’re introduced to one of the series’ central characters, Lucy, played by Ella Purnell. Much like the player character, Lucy has known no life beyond the confines of Vault 33. Described as an “optimistic Vault Dweller with an all-American can-do spirit,” her “peaceful and idealistic nature” is tested when her loved ones are threatened. Meanwhile, overseeing Vault 33 is her father, Overseer Hank, played by Kyle MacLaughlin, who is “eager to change the world for the better.”

A looming crisis propels Lucy out of the vault, thrusting her into the unforgiving yet beloved wasteland we know. “The games are about the culture of division and haves and have-nots that, unfortunately, have only gotten more and more acute in this country and around the world over the last decades,” Nolan told Vanity Fair. “We get to talk about that in a wonderful, speculative-fiction way.”

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The father-daughter duo of Ella Purnell’s Lucy and Kyle MacLaughlin’s Overseer Hank in Prime Video’s ‘Fallout’ series | Image: Prime Video

Todd Howard, the director of the Fallout game series and executive producer for the show, also shared insights stating, “We had a lot of conversations over the style of humor, the level of violence, the style of violence. Look, Fallout can be very dramatic, and dark, and postapocalyptic, but you need to weave in a little bit of a wink…. I think they threaded that needle really well on the TV show.” Howard even delved into the history of previous attempts at similar projects, explaining why they were rejected. When the idea of making a Fallout 3 movie was getting thrown around, Howard’s response boiled down to, “Yeah, we told that story.”

In contrast, the Fallout TV show exists within the game’s universe but spins its own unique narrative. Howard firmly asserted its canonicity, stating, “We view what’s happening in the show as canon. That’s what’s great, when someone else looks at your work and then translates it in some fashion.” A particularly intriguing character in the upcoming series to watch out for will be Walton Goggins as “The Ghoul.” According to the official description, Goggins’ The Ghoul “survives the wasteland as a Bounty Hunter. He is pragmatic, ruthless, and hides a mysterious past.”

Fallout first look walton goggins the ghoul
Walton Goggins shines as The Ghoul in Prime Video’s ‘Fallout,’ a charismatic, ruthless bounty hunter | Image: Prime Video

The Ghoul’s character is steeped in history, having lived for hundreds of years, and the show promises to unravel both his human past and his current life. Jonathan Nolan draws a lofty literary comparison, likening the character to Virgil from the Divine Comedy—a figure who guides Dante through the afterlife. Nolan explained, “He becomes our guide and our protagonist in that (older) world, even as we understand him to be the antagonist at the end of the world. He’s got a lot of mileage on him, but he’s still got a swagger and kind of a charm.”

Also standing out in the array of photos is Fallout’s iconic power armour. One of the shots features a row of power-armoured soldiers, while in the other, we see a soldier in imposing power armour standing next to Maximus, played by Aaron Moten. As per the official description, Moten’s Maximus is a young soldier who “hides his tragic past as he serves in a militaristic faction called Brotherhood of Steel. He believes in the nobility of the Brotherhood’s mission to bring law and order to the Wasteland–and will do anything to further their goals.”

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First look at the iconic Power Armor suits in Prime Video’s ‘Fallout’ | Image: Prime Video

Wrapping up the collection of images, there are shots featuring individuals soaking in scenes of the airships as well as a behind-the-scenes shot of Purnell alongside director Jonathan Nolan, offering a peek into the making of the show. The ensemble cast of the series also includes Moisés Arias, Kyle MacLachlan, Sarita Choudhury, Michael Emerson, Leslie Uggams, Frances Turner, Dave Register, Zach Cherry, Johnny Pemberton, Rodrigo Luzzi, Annabel O’Hagan, and Xelia Mendes-Jones.

Fallout‘ is slated for a 10-episode run and is produced by Kilter Films, with Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy as executive producers. Nolan has directed the initial three episodes. Additionally, Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner are serving as executive producers, writers, and co-showrunners for the series.

Fallout hits Prime Video on April 12, 2024.

Fallout first look wasteland
Image: Prime Video
Aaron Moten’s Maximus standing alongside someone wearing the Power armor in Prime Video’s ‘Fallout’ | Image: Prime Video
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Image: Prime Video
A Behind the Scenes photo of Director Jonathan Nolan with Ella Purnell | Image: Prime Video