HBO turning The Last of Us videogame into series with Chernobyl creator
From the decaying ashes of The Last of Us, the movie, comes The Last of Us, the TV series.
HBO announced Thursday that plans are in the works for the sprawling, best-selling videogame of 2013 to live anew on the small screen as a drama. The game-maker himself Neil Druckmann, who served as writer and creative director on the zombie action title, is on board to write and executive produce what is planned as a series with HBO's Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin.
"I can’t believe we get to team up with one of my favorite writers to bring Ellie and Joel’s journey to HBO," Druckmann tweeted.
The Last of Us takes place 20 years after a devastating pandemic ravaged humanity, transforming many into what we might call zombies, but in the world of the game are the infected, mindless, hunger-driven shells of their former selves. And they come in all shapes and sizes. The story itself follows Joel, one of the survivors in one of the few remaining human settlements, who's hired to smuggle a 14-year-old girl named Ellie out of their militarized quarantine zone. Ellie is special because she's infected with the virus but somehow has not turned. Actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson portrayed Joel and Ellie in the game through motion-capture and voice acting.
Sony once announced a movie version of The Last of Us in 2014 that ultimately never came to fruition.
The series will now cover the events of the first game with the potential to include elements from The Last of Us Part II, the title's highly anticipated sequel. Carolyn Strauss from HBO’s Game of Thrones and Chernobyl will also executive produce with Evan Wells, president of Naughty Dog, the Santa Monica-based videogame developer behind The Last of Us. HBO revealed a brief teaser for the announcement.
“Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and ‘The Last of Us’ is his magnum opus,” Mazin said in a statement. “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 added in his own official remarks, “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. 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. I’m beyond excited to collaborate with them."
But first, as Druckmann himself teased over Twitter, he's "got a little game to finish!" The Last of Us Part II will drop this May 29. Johnson and Baker return for roles in the sequel, which also features Westworld actress Shannon Woodward.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report the news of the series.
The Last of Us