Originally announced for a movie adaptation, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us has shifted to become an HBO-exclusive TV series, which will replace the original plan of bringing it to theaters and will see its first episode directed by Craig Mazin.
Craig Mazin is credited for giving life to HBO’s Chernobyl. He is also the same person who penned the writing for another video game-based movie adaptation, Gearbox Software’s Borderlands.
The Other Creatives
Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann, the original writer and producer of the canceled movie is returning to coincide with the creation of the first episode.
Johan Renck, the award-winning writer behind the five episodes of Chernobyl is also going to lend a hand in the TV series. Primarily as an executive producer, but has also shown interest in writing for the pilot episode. Renck is also the same person behind an episode in Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Vikings, and Bates Motel.
With the project finally panned as a TV series release, the project effectively went under the PlayStation Productions label. A 2019 initiative created by Sony dedicated to movies derived from its video game IPs.
Long Time Coming
Sony originally proclaimed the movie adoption of The Last of Us in 2014, stating Druckmann to take the helm for the film. At the time, the movie was supposed to be produced under the Screen Gems label.
Evil Dead creator and Spider–Man trilogy director, Sam Raimi, was also set to be involved in the production of the film.
The creative aspect of the developing title was ongoing, subsequently coming up with an updated draft in 2015. Citing drastic changes from the original, which Druckmann had written, but remaining faithful to the source material.
Actors meant to play as cast to the film were even introduced to the movie script.
However, by late 2016, Sam Raimi, reportedly, claimed that the project was ‘stuck to a standstill.’ As it seems, the last progress with the project was still the 2015 news, which spoke about the supposed movie’s updated script.
Politics in Business at Play
Upon closer inspection, it seems that there was a political issue at play for the indefinite hold.
As per Raimi’s revelation, it appears that both Sony and Druckmann had a disagreement with regards to the film’s rights. Something which otherwise would give Druckmann and the crew control over the film that’s going to be produced.
Since then, there had not been any official word about the project. That was the case until recently when the news came that a TV series is instead in the works.
Image used courtesy of PlayStation/YouTube Screenshot