In 2020, Amazon Studios and Bethesda announced they were teaming up to produce a live-action adaptation of the legendary Fallout series. While details were scarce at the time (and still are), hopes were high because Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the team behind the Westworld series, were recruited to bring the project to life. Judging by some recent set photo leaks, that early faith might have been well-founded.
Over the weekend, Twitter user TheMachoMando (which is a great name, by the way) shared pictures of what appears to be a Fallout series set complete with rusted-out vehicles parked outside of an abandoned supermarket. While the store’s sign is missing some letters, others are more intact and clearly read “Super-Duper Mart.” If that name sounds familiar, you probably played Fallout 3. After all, that bombed-out market is one of the first places players visit in that game after leaving Vault 101. Then again, the nuclear-ravaged wastes of Washington DC is only one location where gamers can find branches of that supermarket chain. Multiple Super-Duper Marts also crop up in Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, and even though players won’t find any physical branches of the market in Fallout: New Vegas, they can find Super-Duper Mart ads scattered throughout that game.
The general consensus is that the leaks are legitimate, though we will be sure to notify you if their authenticity is put in any serious doubt. For the moment, though, these photos seem to imply that the upcoming show will remain faithful to the games (at least as far as this particular landmark is concerned). If nothing else, it feels safe to assume Super-Duper Mart won’t be the last well-realized locale Fallout fans will see in the show.
While some Fallout locations are more famous than others, post-apocalyptic RPGs are full of landmarks the show can pull from. For instance, there are the headquarters of Vault-Tec, Nuka-Cola, RobCo, and Red Rocket (along with their satellite locations), as well as a series of smaller (though memorable) locations that are unique to specific entries in the franchise.
Of course, that raises an interesting question. Since neither Bethesda nor Amazon have shared any significant details about the plot of the upcoming Fallout show, it’s too early to tell if the series will attempt to adapt a specific game in the franchise or whether it will even strictly adhere to the established Fallout timeline. However, since the Super-Duper Mart in the leaked images isn’t an exact match of any of the versions of that location that we’ve seen so far, my suspicion is that the show will take place in post-war America and tell its own story.
Still, the most important takeaway from these photos is certainly the implication that the adaptation will at least try to stay true to its source material. After all, the set’s Super-Duper Mart maintains the Fallout franchise’s iconic “50s Americana/sci-fi architecture meets the end of the world” aesthetic.
Of course, one set is only a fraction of what we’ll eventually get. While the leaks indicate that Super-Duper Mart’s design is trying to be as “accurate” as possible without directly recreating a specific version of that store, we know next to nothing of what the rest of the series looks like. The Fallout franchise boasts countless recognizable creatures and weapons, including ghouls, Deathclaws, power fists, and laser rifles. Of course, cannot forget the series’ signature power armor. Any great Fallout show will find a way to get all of those things to look and feel right.
Using the Super-Duper Mart set as a metric, the Fallout show looks promising from a design standpoint, but other sets and proper previews of them will serve as a true aesthetic metric. On that note, we also still don’t know if the show will find a way to recreate the game’s tricky tone. While the Fallout franchise’s wonderful visuals have long helped it stand out from so many other incredible RPG franchises, it’s really the quality of this upcoming series’ writing that will determine whether or not this whole endeavor will live up to its incredible potential.
For now, though, things are looking up. Fingers crossed.