A film adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us franchise has been talked about for years, but a few months ago it was officially announced that HBO, Craig Mazin (writer and producer of the Chernobyl miniseries) and Neil Druckmann of Naughty Dog will make it a big budget series.
Despite the names involved, fans are always hesitant about the filming of their favorite games. However, during a brief update on the series, Mazin said that the series will only amplify the games, rather than detract from them:
“Fans always worry that making a film adaptation will change everything. In my case, I make the series with the guy who created the games. The changes we are making are therefore intended to enhance and expand the story of the games. We do not want to detract from what the games have done.”
Besides Mazin, Johan Renck, director of the Chernobyl episodes and The Walking Dead, is also involved in the project. In addition to serving as an executive producer, he will also direct the pilot episode. However, he does not rule out directing more episodes in the future.
While no casting has been announced for The Last of Us yet, one name that’s already come up — though mostly because she brought it up — is Game Of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams. Williams apparently approached Druckmann and producer Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, The Evil Dead) way back in 2014 or 2015, when Raimi was producing a movie version of The Last of Us (which apparently fell apart when Sony and Druckmann had creative differences over Druckmann’s script). Whether Williams’ enthusiasm has remained or waned since the project transitioned from a movie to a TV series is not known.
As with all TV shows these days, production on HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike productions that started filming and then had to stop, though, Mazin said that he and Druckmann have only just moved onto the writing stage, having figured out what Mazin calls “the first cycle” of the series. So, don’t expect The Last of Us on HBO until 2021 at the earliest, which isn’t great news for eager fans, but it is just enough time for the unfamiliar to finish playing the games before the show spoils everything for you.