Video game maker Naughty Dog recently made headlines when more information was presented about its hit game Uncharted that is being turned into a movie. They are back making headlines with another of their extremely popular video games, The Last Of Us. The game is getting a sequel (The Last of Us 2 arrives in stores May 29, 2020) but perhaps more importantly we’re getting a The Last Of Us series on HBO.
IT’S ABOUT TIME
Many fans (and there are MANY) have been thinking this thought. Naughty Dog introduced fans to The Last Of Us in 2013 and it was an immediate hit on the PlayStation console. The storyline seemed perfect to be turned into a movie, in fact, Sony announced back in 2014 plans to do just that. The Last Of Us creative director Neil Druckmann had written a script and it was to be produced by Sam Raimi (Evil Dead series, Spider-Man series). But not more was done with this as the movie entered the infamous development hell.
Fast forward (slowly) to 2020 and Druckmann’s fabulous tweet, “Ellie and Joel are heading to HBO!”
ELLIE AND JOEL
Ellie and Joel are who The Last Of Us is all about. The story follows Joel, after an outbreak of a mutant Cordyceps fungus that decimates the U.S., turning humans into the Infected, uber aggressive creatures. During his travels, Joel comes across Ellie, who claims to have been infected.
Since the infection takes two days to turn a human into a creature, Ellie thinks she may be the cure as she had been infected three weeks prior. The rest of the game centers on Joel and Ellie protecting each other from various creatures and humans alike.
THE TEAM BRINGING LAST OF US TO LIFE
HBO is reteaming with Craig Mazin, the creator of their hit series Chernobyl. Mazin will partner up with Druckmann to bring the series to life. Mazin will executive produce the series along with Druckmann, Naughty Dog president Evan Wells, and HBO’s Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones, The Wire). This is the first series to be developed by the newly formed PlayStation Productions, which Sony created to adapt their video games to movies and TV. HBO will co-produce with Sony Pictures Television.
Mazin was very excited to start the project with Druckmann as he told the Hollywood Reporter (THR), “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.”
Druckmann also had nothing but praise for his new partner, “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,” said Druckmann to THR. “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.”
HBO’S THE LAST OF US PLOT
Per THR, the HBO series will cover many of the events from the first game with the possibility of added elements from the upcoming sequel. So, expect the series to show how the fungus spreads and wipes out most of the world.
Also expect it to show all the Infected in their gory, sick glory. These are Runners, Stalkers, Clickers, and Bloaters. For the most part, though, the series should closely follow the original game.
At this early stage, it isn’t about the actors who may be involved (because none have been announced) but what game characters will be in it. Druckmann didn’t waste time by tweeting out what initial characters will be seen, though one name was strategically redacted. “And now you have Ellie, Riley, Tess, Marlene, Maria, ####, and a few others!” Check it out here.
While many are trying to guess the redacted name (Anna, anyone?) one of the named characters is beginning to gain a little more popularity (or notoriety) than the others, that being Riley. In the game, she was briefly mentioned in The Last of Us by Ellie, who told Joel her story. Riley was Ellie’s friend, but Riley ended up getting infected around the same time Ellie thought she was infected. They shared a moment, a kiss and many are leaning on this as a needed storyline in the series.
Druckmann’s twitter has lit up concerning Riley’s character and Ellie’s sexuality.
Will this be part of the storyline?
WHEN THE LAST OF US ARRIVES ON HBO
Too early to tell when The Last Of Us series may appear on HBO or how many episodes it may contain. First things first, Druckmann has a sequel to release and seems to be on track to make that happen. We will be sure to update as more details are released.