With the Uncharted movie underway, Naughty Dog is also taking The Last of Us and adapting it as a TV series for HBO. What’s great is, besides ‘enhancing the story’ of Joel and Ellie, the series will also be taking some unused concepts that were developed from the original Last of Us game.
Talking to BBC Radio 5 Live (via Den of Geek), showrunner Craig Mazin has confirmed that they’ll be taking some things that were originally developed for the first The Last of Us game but didn’t make it in the final cut. He says:
“[Original game director Neil Druckmann], at one point, he’s like, ‘You know, there was one thing we were talking about for a while,’ and then he told me what it was. I was like, ‘Well, that’s going in. You couldn’t stop me from doing that.’ So we’re doing that… And there’s quite a few things like that where it’s not like, ‘Oh, we just decided, oh, wouldn’t it be cool if there was one episode where Joel and Ellie get on motorcycles and confront a motorcycle gang?’ That’s not what we do. There’s no episodic nonsense here. This is all pretty much curated. The things that are new and enhancing of the storyline we’re doing are connected in organic, serious ways that fans and newcomers alike will appreciate.”
With movies usually botching storylines of games to make them fit in a 2-hour film, it’s actually pretty smart thinking that The Last of Us would take the series route. While we can expect more big setpieces with something like Uncharted, I always felt that Last of Us was more of an intimate story, and they would have to go all-out with the CG to give us a proper adaptation.
We don’t know when HBO plans to give us a look at The Last of Us, but optimistically we should get something before the year ends. With the pandemic still around us though, I would understand if they would hold on any casting announcements until next year.
No release date has been set for HBO’s The Last of Us series, but you can catch the original game now available for PlayStation 4.