After a planned film adaptation of the Playstation videogame ‘The Last of Us’ fell apart, the property is now headed to HBO as a series, with Craig Mazin, who created the award-winning miniseries ‘Chernobyl,’ executive producing. Neil Druckmann, who wrote and directed the game and penned the screenplay for the planned movie, is attached to write and executive produce the new series. HBO’s Carolyn Strauss is also executive producing with Naughty Dog president Evan Wells.
HBO made the announcement via Twitter:
— HBO (@HBO) March 5, 2020
Druckmann followed up with his own reaction on Twitter:
I can’t believe we get to team up with one of my favorite writers to bring Ellie and Joel’s journey to HBO. https://t.co/GNsl0sUVSK
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) March 5, 2020
‘The Last of Us’ is set in a zombie apocalypse with a man named Joel who must protect a 14-year-old named Ellie, who has been infected by the zombie virus but hasn’t turned. Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson portray Joel and Ellie, via a mixture of motion capture and voice acting.
Sony announced plans for a film in 2014, via their Screen Gems label, with a screenplay by Druckmann which was to be produced by Sam Raimi. At one time, Maisie Williams hoped to portray Ellie. But in 2018, Druckmann had switched his position saying that he didn’t want to see anyone other than Baker and Johnson portray Joel and Ellie.
“And even I worked on the script for ‘The Last of Us’ film, which was a direct adaptation. And now, having some separation from it, I look back and be like, ‘I don’t want that movie to be made.’ Maybe there’s something that could be done in [that] world, either focusing on other characters or other time. But, for me – and I know for Naughty Dog and for a lot of our fans – Nolan North is Nathan Drake, Ashley Johnson is Ellie, Troy Baker is Joel. And it would be very disorienting to see someone else in that role.”
But regarding the new series, Mazin stated:
“Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and ‘The Last of Us’ is his magnum opus. Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I’m so honored to do it in partnership with Neil.”
“From the first time I sat down to talk with Craig I was equally blown away by his approach to narrative and his love and deep understanding of The Last of Us. With Chernobyl, Craig and HBO created a tense, harrowing, emotional masterpiece. I couldn’t think of better partners to bring the story of The Last of Us to life as a television show. I’m beyond excited to collaborate with them.”
‘The Last of Us’ was released in 2013. The sequel, ‘The Last of Us – Part II’ is finally set to arrive in just over two months on May 29.
Are you a fan of the game? Are you excited that it is being adapted into live-action at long last?