Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us debuted in 2013. The action-adventure game quickly acquired devoted fans enthralled by its story focused on Joel and Ellie. Joel, a smuggler, and Ellie, a teenage girl, try to make their way across a post-apocalyptic United States. An infection has ravaged the country, but Ellie’s immune and could possibly help with a cure. The escort and teen duo encounter danger along the way in the form of violent humans and scary fungus-infected creatures. Players became invested in their story. And now, HBO is bringing The Last of Us of to the screen. The network greenlit the project in November 2020.
What’s It About?
Sony Pictures Television
We don’t know specific details about the plot yet or how many episodes the show will run. The Hollywood Reporter did state in initial reports that HBO is focusing on the original game rather than the sequel—at least initially. And we’re assuming the story will follow the award-winning video game’s narrative. It’s set in the 2030s. Joel, a smuggler who has seen some s**t, gets Ellie out of a quarantine zone for their journey. They must depend upon each other for survival as they travel from east to west. By all accounts it’s an intense and emotional story, so brace yourself.
Druckmann told IGN at SXSW 2021 that season one will indeed be the first game, down to some dialogue being the same. But they’ll be deviating to varying degrees because it’s a different medium. He said, “For example, in the game, there’s so much action you have to have to train the player about mechanics. You have to have more violence and more spectacle to some degree than you would need on a TV show because you don’t need to train people on how to use a gun. So that’s something that’s been really different, and HBO’s been great in pushing us to move away from hardcore action and focus more on the drama of the character. Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can’t wait for people to see them.”
Who’s Behind the Scenes?
Neil Druckmann, the writer and creative director of The Last of Us game, will write and executive produce the series. Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) will also write and executive produce. Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Word Games, and Naughty Dog are producing.
Gustavo Santaolalla, who composed both installments of The Last of Us video games, will bring his musical talents to the HBO series.
So far HBO has cast the two lead roles of Ellie and Joel. Pedro Pascal will portray Joel, which is perfect. And Bella Ramsey, perhaps best known for playing Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones, is set to play Ellie. That is also perfect. We can’t wait to see the duo together.
Additionally, The Hollywood Reporter says Merle Dandridge will reprise her role from the video game. Dandridge voiced Marlene in both Last of Us games and will now play Marlene in the TV series. Deadline reports Nico Parker (Dumbo) will play Joel’s daughter. Entertainment Weekly notes that Anna Torv (Mindhunter) will play Tess. In the games, Tess is Joel’s long-term smuggling partner. They made their living through smuggling in Boston.
When Will It Arrive?
HBO hasn’t mentioned anything about production so we’re guessing it’s going to be 2022 at the earliest before we see The Last of Us.
We’ll update this post as we learn more about the project, so bookmark this link and come back.
Originally published on March 18, 2021 with updates on on March 22, May 28, and June 30, 2021.