It appears the first scene the cast is shooting is an important one from the video game.

By Nick Romano
July 02, 2021 at 11:50 AM EDT
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UPDATE: Sources clarify to EW that, while the cast assembled in Calgary in Canada ahead of a planned filming start for The Last of Us, the actors appearing in Gabriel Luna's photo were not in character and were not filming in that moment. The original article continues below.

EARLIER: At long last, HBO's The Last of Us, the live-action TV series adaptation of the award-winning video games, has started filming in Calgary, Canada. And we've got the first set photo to prove it.

Star Gabriel Luna (Terminator: Dark Fate) shared an image of the Miller family: Joel (The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal), his daughter Sarah (Dumbo standout Nico Parker), and his brother Tommy (Luna).

"Already love these folks. #MillerTime #thelastofus," Luna wrote on Instagram.

Though the image may not seem like anything revealing, it does hint at an important scene from the first video game that kickstarts the entire apocalyptic saga.

The main story of The Last of Us, as will be depicted in the show, takes place 20 years after civilization has been decimated by a fungal plague that transforms those that succumb into grotesque zombie-like monsters. But the first sequence in the game shows the day everything went to hell.

Spoiler warning for the games: When the fungus starts taking over people in their home of Austin, Texas, Joel and Tommy grab Sarah and attempt to flee in a car. Sarah's death during the events of this fateful day is what makes Joel the hardened survivor we meet at one of the last human settlements years later.

However, the central relationship of the show is between Joel and Ellie, played by Pascal's fellow Game of Thrones castmate Bella Ramsey. In the present day, Joel is hired by the resistance group known as the Fireflies to smuggle this 14-year-old girl out of their oppressive quarantine zone. The seemingly small job quickly spirals into a cross-country journey across what's left of the United States for these two characters.

Pedro Pascal; Joel from The Last of Us
Pedro Pascal plays Joel in HBO's 'The Last of Us.'
| Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images; Sony Interactive Entertainment

Merle Dandridge (The Flight Attendant) will reprise her voice role from the video games as Marlene, the head of the Fireflies.

With a first season in the works from Chernobyl Emmy winners Craig Mazin and Carolyn Strauss, who executive produce with the games' creative director Neil Druckmann, The Last of Us will largely adapt the events of the first game, released in 2013. But should HBO greenlight their efforts for further seasons, we can expect the story to delve into The Last of Us Part II, the sequel game that debuted in 2020.

Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole) directs the show's pilot after Johan Renck dropped out due to scheduling.

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