The Nolan brothers, Christopher and Jonathan, were at a For Your Consideration Event at the Los Angeles DGA Theater Tuesday to discuss the hit Prime Video series Fallout, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Jonathan served as the executive producer of Fallout, which based on the popular video game. He also directed three episodes of the series. The Oppenheimer director was on stage first to introduce his “baby brother.”

The Nolans talk movies

Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight and Cillian Murphy in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer.

Later on, the two spoke about a wide range of topics which included their previous work together on the two Batman films, 2008's The Dark Knight and 2012's The Dark Knight Rises. The brothers co-wrote the script and Christopher directed both movies.

Jonathan pointed out how he went about developing the Fallout series, “I watched the way that you adapted Batman from comic books to film and I think the underlying idea was treated with respect, not to try to ape the exact framing of the comic books themselves.”

Big brother Christopher replied, “When we were working on Batman, we would talk a lot about [how] you work with a beloved character that people really feel they own. They grew up with the character, they have their own interpretation.”

He noted that when it comes to video games, fans have complete control in how they play it as well as how the characters behave.

“So is that daunting? How do you then impose an experience on it?” he asked.

The daunting adaptation experience

Jonathan answered that he admitted found the experience very terrifying.

“I don't know I would have had the guts to do it if we hadn't gone through the experience on Batman … I think often about your casting Heath Ledger [as the Joker] and the months of — I'm not even sure how aware you were of it, because you're not online; I, at that time, was very online, and very aware of the fact that people thought, ‘Oh, they've blown it,' right? Because they couldn't quite see it, it didn't quite map onto their — it wasn't Jack Nicholson,” he explained.

When Ledger was cast in the now iconic role, the announcement broke the internet even before that phrase was a thing. Before taking on the role, the actor was most famous for playing Ennis Del Mar in Ang Lee's 2005 film Brokeback Mountain. The consensus of many fans online was that it was the biggest casting mistake ever made.

Jonathan continued, “I remember watching that and being terrified, because we'd written the draft, and you start of thinking, ‘How's this going to work out?' And I think the answer was, it worked out very, very well.”

Indeed it did, since Ledger posthumously won an Oscar for The Dark Knight.

“That gave me the courage to sort of go, ‘OK, look, if you approach these things not for the fans, but as a fan' — find something that you love and try to treat it with as much respect as you can and trust that respect and love will show through, even if you have to, in the case as you pointed out, you have to make choices,” he added.

As a fan, not for the fans

This approach of “as a fan, not for the fans” carried over to his directing Fallout off someone else's script.

The brothers then compared Jonathan's work at the helm of Westworld and Fallout — especially the weekly release of episodes for the former and the binge-style for the latter.

While Jonathan believes in “the week-by-week sort of linear release,” he said it was difficult to pull of Westworld's plot twists due to that format. For Fallout, “We really liked the idea that if people were excited, you just let it let it rip. I’m not sure what the health effects of consuming eight hours of this are psychologically, but it does allow people to have that kind of super immersive experience.”

Before the end of the conversation, Christopher tried to ask for season two spoilers.

Jonathan replied, “I can't believe you would ask me that. Such a betrayal.”

I remember the brouhaha over Ledger's casting more than a decade ago. While I'm a huge Batman fan and thought Joker was one the best villains of all time, I was also a big fan of Heath's. He was a great Joker, but his more iconic role to me was as William Thatcher in 2001's A Knight's Tale. So I never had a problem with him as Joker and I'm grateful that Christopher Nolan stuck to his guns with his casting choice.

And I'm doubly grateful for Jonathan Nolan for learning what most some in Hollywood either haven't learned or refused to learn: when it comes to adaptations, approach the source material as a fan, not create works necessarily for the fans.

The fans are legion. And because they are, they all have varying opinions as to who should play what characters. Fan casting is something that fans do. If you're a creator with a chance to adapt an already established work, do your own thing, use the source material as a reference, and like the Nolan brothers: stick your guns when it comes to your casting choices.

Fallout is currently streaming on Prime Video. It has been renewed for a second season.