Why Bethesda Has Turned Down Fallout Movie Offers

"I've taken a number of meetings over the years and nothing quite clicked where I felt, 'Oh, that would be as good as the game.'"

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Fallout publisher Bethesda has been approached multiple times for a movie based on the post-apocalyptic series, and the company has even taken meetings to discuss the idea, but so far nothing has lined up. Bethesda's Todd Howard says in a new interview with GI.biz that, in fact, a Fallout movie deal could impact the overall "identity" of the game series.

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"We've had a couple of in-roads, particularly with Fallout, which is a bit stickier than Elder Scrolls, but everybody's kind of asked and I've taken a number of meetings over the years and nothing quite clicked where I felt, 'Oh, that would be as good as the game,'" he explained. "And that may happen. I don't rule it out, but nothing really has clicked where--the games are popular enough and that's their identity."

Had there been a Fallout movie already, it might have made you feel differently about the overall Fallout brand when Fallout 4 was announced last summer. This could have impacted the game--and possibly not in a good way, Howard said.

"And one of them [game or movie] wouldn't be quite right and you wouldn't want that to be the game, where the movie takes it in another direction," Howard explained.

If a Fallout movie does happen--and Howard is not ruling that out--fans may be happy to learn that Howard said Bethesda would bring its trademark attention to detail to the project.

"I would say we have a pretty high bar as far as what we would want it to be if it ever happened and nothing's quite clicked," he explained. "Even little things like, 'What does the vault suit look like?' - every little thing we obsess over so the game is the thing where it really exists."

Howard's comments follow those from Bethesda marketing executive Pete Hines, who said last year that the company has been approached "for a long time" about potential Fallout and Elder Scrolls movies.

Though Bethesda doesn't have any immediate plans to bring its franchises to the big-screen, Howard said Bethesda has a "really good window" into the film and TV markets by way of film icon Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS president Leslie Moonves. They both sit on Bethesda's board of directors, alongside former MGM CEO Harry Sloan and Hollywood legal expert Ernest Dell.

"We have a lot of folks who really know that space really, really well," Hines said.

In fact, their expertise in the areas of film and TV could be exactly the reason why there hasn't been a Fallout or Elder Scrolls movie to date.

"We've gotten a lot of very good advice about, 'There's way more things that can go wrong than can go right with this,'" Hines said about making a video game movie. "The concern is always...do you want the world's view of The Elder Scrolls to be what [Howard] envisions in Skyrim or do you want it to be some other director who decides to make a movie that looks like Cats?'"

Hines said an example of a video game movie done wrong would be 2005's Doom, which starred Karl Urban and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Bethesda had no part in the production of this movie, having acquired Doom developer id Software in 2009.

"You look at the Doom movie, which I've only been able to bring myself to watch part of; well, that's not what I want people thinking of when they see Doom," Hines said. "I want them thinking of what [Doom executive producer Marty Stratton] had up on stage [at E3] and what we want it to look like and feel like."

Though Bethesda isn't making any video game movies, others are. Some upcoming video game movies include Warcraft (June 2016) and Assassin's Creed (December 2016). A new Tomb Raider movie is also in the works, with Star Wars actor Daisy Ridley reportedly being eyed for the role of Lara Croft.

Additionally, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford recently said the Borderlands movie will help the franchise reach a bigger audience.

Disclosure: CBS is GameSpot's parent company.

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Avatar image for metallunar
Metallunar

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Fallout would be better if it was a show instead of a movies.

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Kessel

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I think the only way to bring Fallout to a screen would be either a mini-series or a British/Babylon 5 type series which has a set ending from the beginning. I think a movie just won't leave enough time to really get in all the aspects of Fallout, both humorous and horrifying, and would just be a generic post-apocalyptic "Man is a beast" movie. On the other hand, an endless TV show would get bad quickly, with writers having to keep one-upping the "big bads", until by season 6 it will be along the lines of "They don't want to just destroy our world, but all worlds. Ever", and would probably be a Spartacus/Game of Thrones "Who do we kill this week?" type of show in order to keep interest.

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waelse1

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Would rather have a Skyrim TV show or film than Fallout, more of a story.

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marut

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Current TV series "Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands" is basically Skyrim clone in artstyles, setdesign & themes

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ShadedWraithX

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@marut: The art-styles,architecture, and themes of Skyrim are not unique to Bethesda, they borrowed that from the Celtics who often spun tales of such heroes. The legend/poem of Beowulf has been around since at least 700–1000 CE, actually I'm pretty sure Bethesda took inspiration from Beowulf and other Celtic tales when making the Nords and Skyrim.

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iohannfus2015

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Edited By iohannfus2015

if is not directed by Inaritu and played by Leo Di Caprio doesn't make any sense to accept the movie, they're right :-D

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Barighm

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They wouldn't work as movies. They COULD work as a TV series.

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godzilla_hiper

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@Barighm: A TV series would be interesting. Netflix where are you?

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DarthRevenX

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Live action fallout wouldn't be a bad thing universally, I mean look at Nuka Break on YT, really well made series that adds to the lore....also Nuka Break is fan made and made in short episodes but I think if it was longer I doubt the quality would be there....

fans usually make the best material, that MGS Philanthopy was good but they never completed episode 2 sadly and that metroid live action vid was cool and there's a live action Duke Nukem vid on YT that's pretty cool.....fans can do some col stuff in their spare time but Hollywood would only bring shame upon Fallout so it's best not to greenlight anything....

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Smosh150

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@darthrevenx: Oh yea, Nuka Break was fantastic and really showed what could be done with Fallout outside of the games.

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BattleStreak

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Good. Who would be the main character in the movie?

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iohannfus2015

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@battlestreak: LoL ... i mean LDC ... of course, Leo Di Caprio ...

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wm3sv

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I really like this news, Hollywood always mess up good games and anime storylines.

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Valtair

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Not making a movie based on sandbox franchises sounds good. Take Skyrim for example as a movie just the main questline. Trying to put it to script, special effects, costumes, etc. etc. sounds terrible. I doubt enough money would be behind such a project to make it good either as a Skyrim movie would require hundreds of millions in terms of budget to look decent and the payoff would likely be shit.

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Barighm

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@valtair: It worked for Game of Thrones.

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Kruiz_Bathory

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I liked Ridley on SW but I don't think she'd do a good Lara Croft.

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RSM-HQ

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Edited By RSM-HQ

Makes sense, I mean regardless of your thoughts with Bethesda Studios glitches/ bugs/ and recently dumbed down mechanics. They do seem focused on making games, rather than cutscenes and QTEs.

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Bakula

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Probably because he hasn't received a lame first-person movie pitch yet.

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jasonb520

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@bakula: Unless its to the tune of Hardcore Henry, Then id watch that

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SecondVariety

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"Bethesda would bring its trademark attention to detail to the project." So are we talking about an edit to the film on release day and portions of the film become unwatchable at certain theaters?

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Smosh150

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I wouldn't mind a mini-series taking place before the Great War, I think that would be quite interesting and wouldn't really screw with what they may do with Fallout in the future(Possibly, idk). I find the Pre-Great War aspect of Fallout to be more interesting than Post-Great War imo.

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cornbredx

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Edited By cornbredx

"Why Bethesda has turned down Fallout movie offers"


Because The Road already has a movie.

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jerms82

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an executive exercising some restraint. respect.

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GamerbyDesign

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I don't know why people think Todd is talking about the original Fallout when he talks Fallout. He is talking about his vision of it which is Fallout 3 and 4. He may have liked and played the originals but he's talking about his work with the Fallout IP. If you wanted to talk about the original Fallout go talk to Brian Fargo.

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PrpleTrtleBuBum

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Turning this sort of free sandbox game into movie is like turning GTA or The Sims into a movie. Sure they could pick some linear plot and throw a few recognizable details in there but I'm not sure that would turn out so great.

Then again the street fighter fanthing was pretty cool

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blackbetty1974

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Honestly, I'd be happy with some new Nuka Break. It was low budget, but entertaining, and respectful of the source material.

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nikolistary

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If Howard was truly worried about Fallout's identity he wouldn't have made Fallout 4. It's so incredibly distant from the original IP, and not in a good way.

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cornbredx

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@nikolistary: If you're still on a nostalgic rose tinted glasses bent about Fallout no longer being a top down isometrical turn based RPG you could always play Wasteland 2. Wasteland is where Fallout comes from, and the new one (Wasteland 2) came out not to long ago. It maintains what you probably want from a Fallout game.

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JoeJoe1639

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@nikolistary: He cares about the identity and direction Bethesda envisioned for Fallout being preserved, not whatever nostalgic nonsense you're on about.

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nikolistary

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@joejoe1639: Nonsense? Hardly. Howard is standing director, and he is the one responsible for the massive dumb down of Fallout. No nostalgia here. I just wanted a damn RPG like New Vegas. Instead, I got Far Cry: Fallout

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EF56SD

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Would work better as a series on Television or Netflix.

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Boddicker

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He actually thinks FO3 and 4 are good?

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tinkyabad

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Yeah remember when the Super Mario Bros. movie ruined that franchise...

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Valtair

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@tinkyabad: Fallout in terms of scale doesn't even compare to Mario. I'm not sure if Mario games will ever stop getting made as even if Nintendo goes out of business someone will likely pick up the rights to Mario and continue to make games. Fallout games, however, could easily stop being made in comparison.

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RS13

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"Bethesda would bring its trademark attention to detail to the project." Wait what?

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Merwanor

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I think one of the prime reasons why game movies have been so bad is that the directors and those who do not really know enough about the game and its story, tend to always want to make their own vision of the source material. Then they go and turn it into something it is definitely not. If the people making the games had more say in the creation of the movie, I think it would be good. That is why I am more excited for the Warcraft movie, as it seems that the people at Blizzard has had a lot to say on how it is going to be.

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jerms82

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@merwanor: i think the biggest reason is budgeting. no respectable (this will change hopefully) production studio will throw tons of money on a video game project. big-name, high quality directors, screenwriters, costume designers, special effects, cast/crew simply aren't being hired for this kind of genre. the good guys are just too expensive.

i was super skeptical about the warcraft movie, but i'm starting to get way excited about it too, now that we're seeing what looks like high production values. can't wait.

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Galva86

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Its kind of hard with a huge storyline. Just keep it away from the movies, it has worked so far

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Cbordi

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but it could work very well... it depends how the writing and direction goes.

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Poison-tooth

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I have a scenario for them: Kill, loot, return, The End.

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Unreal849

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Edited By Unreal849

You just can't make a movie about picking up all the aluminum cans and then spending 2 hours trying to place settlement decor juuuuust right.

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