‘The Last of Us’ HBO series will expand video game story, showrunner says

The Last of Us TV series adaptation on HBO will stay true to the “spirit” of the video games, according to showrunner Craig Mazin. The upcoming series will have expanded scenes and storylines, but the writer assures the fans it will still follow the narrative as the original story.

Speaking with BBC Radio 5, Mazin said that The Last of Us would not undo the story of the source material. The showrunner said that he’s working closely with Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann in developing the TV show.

“I’m doing it with the guy who did it, and so the changes that we’re making are designed to fill things out and expand, not to undo, but rather to enhance,” Mazin said. Druckmann introduced stuff that was planned but never used in the video games and will likely make it to the TV Show.

Fans of the games will “fall in love” with the show

Mazin also said that his goal with Druckmann is to make the video game fans “fall in love” with the TV show. They are taking “extreme care and thoughtfulness” to produce the series knowing that gaming fans have this emotional tie of The Last of Us.

The writer’s challenge, however, is to change the gaming experience into a TV experience since players are used to taking the viewpoint of the main character, Joel.

“When you are watching a television show, you are not a person, you are all of them,” Mazin said. “Hopefully, you’re connecting with or experiencing something with all of them, so it’s a very different way of approaching narrative.”

Casting the HBO show

HBO’s casting announcements for The Last of Us are still not settled since Mazin and Druckmann are in the middle of completing pre-production. The show tapped Johan Renck to direct the pilot episode, but there’s still no filming schedule due to the coronavirus restrictions.

In 2014, rumors surfaced that The Last of Us was getting a movie adaptation with Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams as Ellie. Producer Sam Raimi was part of the project that ultimately didn’t push through.

Debuting in 2013, the game became an all-time bestseller with 1.3 million copies sold in its first week. It follows a post-apocalyptic story about a disease that turned most humans into zombies.

Survivors like Joel and a young girl named Ellie cross paths. Joel discovers that Ellie has an immunity to the mutation and may likely be the cure.

A sequel to The Last of Us video games was released on June 19. According to reports, the HBO show will likely not have this new storyline just yet.

 

Image used courtesy of PlayStation/YouTube

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