“You have no room to play”: Fallout Producer Jonathan Nolan Will Never Work on Any Harry Potter Franchise Despite His Success With Film Adaptations

Jonathan Nolan is not interested in specific kind of adaptations.

Jonathan Nolan, Harry Potter, Fallout
Credits: Wikimedia Commons / Bart ryker


  • Jonathan Nolan has certainly done very well when it comes to Fallout as an adaptation.
  • Despite this, there are two franchises he refuses to go near; Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
  • Not because of their content, but because of their fans.
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Jonathan Nolan has certainly begun to make a name for himself in the mainstream media. While he has made many worthwhile and critically acclaimed projects over the years, none have managed to get as much attention as the recently released, Fallout. When the adaptation of the iconic video game was originally announced, fans were naturally very nervous. However, since its release, all its reviews have been nothing but positive.


Jonathan Nolan
Jonathan Nolan [Credit: Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast]
Knowing how well he has been able to contribute to making sure the adaptation was just as accurate as it was entertaining, it would not be surprising that more retellings are coming his way. However, it would seem that there are two franchises Nolan refuses to take part in.

Harry Potter is Not in the Books for Jonathan Nolan

Recently, Jonathan Nolan gave an interview with Variety where he talked about his recently released series, Fallout. While the show has gained much acclaim, it is based on a video game series of the same name. During the interview, the screenwriter talked about adaptations—more specifically, adaptations he would not be interested in doing.


Jonathan Nolan is excited for audiences to see Fallout
Ella Purnell in a still from Fallout [Credit: Prime Video]
It would seem that Nolan has some particular criteria when it comes to the projects he is a part of. He does not like working on retellings that have a huge fan following, and hence, a lot of expectations.

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.

So I never was interested in working on a ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Lord of the Rings.’

Jonathan Nolan has huge ideas for Fallout season 2
Ella Purnell’s Lucy in Fallout [Credit: Prime Video]
He took some names, voicing that he would not be interested in making something surrounding the world of Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings as they have too strict limitations.

Jonathan Nolan Needs Room For Change

Jonathan Nolan explained why he was so particular about franchises like these, revealing that he did not like how the expectations made it difficult to have any creative freedom. Since fans already love the source material and think it to be perfect, every single change that is made, regardless of how minuscule, will be met with resistance.


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. 

Walton Goggins' Ghoul will play an integral role in Fallout according to Jonathan Nolan
The Ghoul in Jonathan Nolan’s Fallout [Credit: Prime Video]
Nolan then explained what adaptations mean to him as a screenwriter. He does not believe that something that is retelling the story exactly as it is can be put in the category. According to his definition, a change of some degree is imperative to properly tell a pre-existing story.

While many of the greatest may disagree with him, his formula has managed to work very well when it comes to Prime Video’s Fallout.


Written by Ananya Godboley

Articles Published: 1228

A poet and art enthusiast, Ananya Godboley is a striving academic who is pursuing a career in Criminal Psychology, currently doing an undergrad degree in Psychology. Passionate about History, Philosophy and Literature, she loves to learn about new and interesting subjects. A writer for FandomWire with over 1000 published articles, she adores all things superhero and Taylor Swift.