Earlier this year, HBO announced that they would develop a new series based on the popular video game, The Last of Us. Now, the network has given this adaptation of the Naughty Dog franchise a series order.
The Last of Us series is being developed by Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin, Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann, and Game of Thrones executive producer Carolyn Strauss, with Mazin and Druckmann writing the series. The pilot will be directed by Johan Rench, who won an Emmy for his work on Chernobyl, and the score will be by the game’s composer, Gustavo Santaolalla.
The Last of Us will air on both HBO and HBO Max, although it’s unclear when the show will debut. It is believed that the series will follow the events of the 2013 video game of the same name, although it is unclear if the series will incorporate parts of 2014’s Left Behind downloadable add-on, and this year’s sequel.
Naughty Dog has been trying to get a The Last of Us adaptation off the ground for quite some time now. In 2014, Sony announced that they were teaming up with Screen Gems – who made the Resident Evil series of films – to make a film adaptation of the game. Despite Neil Druckmann’s completion of the script, Druckmann said in 2016 that the film had gone into “development hell.”
However, 2020 has been quite the year for Naughty Dog adaptations. Not only has this year exciting news about The Last of Us series, but Naughty Dog has also finally got their Uncharted film off the ground. After years of delays and directors leaving, the Uncharted film has finally wrapped production. With Tom Holland playing a younger version of series lead Nathan Drake, and Mark Wahlberg as his mentor Victor “Sully” Sullivan, Uncharted is coming to theaters on July 16, 2021.
The Last of Us takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, centered around Joel, a smuggler who must escort a 14-year-old girl, Ellie, across the United States. Upon its release in 2013, the game was immediately called one of the best games made by Naughty Dog, and one of the best games on the PlayStation 3 console. The game was called Game of the Year by such publications as The A.V. Club, IGN, Giant Bomb, and Kotaku.
The Last of Us Part II, which released in June of this year, became the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive, selling over four million units in its first weekend. While the game has received varied reviews from fans, the game recently received nine nominations in 2020’s Game Awards, including a nomination for Game of the Year.
While it’s unclear who will play Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us series, Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams has previously spoken about how she would like to play Ellie when the project was just a film. Yet at this point, Williams might be too old for the role. As for Joel, the Internet has been full of rumors and hopes since the game initially came out, with many thinking Hugh Jackman or another Game of Thrones alumni, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, could be an excellent pick for the role.
The Last of Us is certainly one of the most anticipated video game adaptations in quite some time, and one of HBO’s biggest projects in development. It will be interesting to see how this series translates into another medium, and if fans take to the series as strongly as they did the game.