Some fascinating images from the canceled The Last of Us animated movie have appeared online and seem to paint a portrait of what could have been.
Animation studio Oddfellows posted the pictures on their website, but they’ve since been taken down. Thankfully, you can still view them via a saved Google Cache page. The images themselves are quite striking and showcase an art style that feels distinct yet true to the spirit of The Last of Us. While the art itself is certainly impressive, the biggest takeaway from this post is Oddfellow’s description of what they intended to accomplish with this animated story.
“In anticipation of The Last of Us II, we were asked to create a compelling short film depicting the main characters Joel and Ellie as they retell their dramatic story chronicled in the original game,” reads a statement on the removed portfolio page. “Our proposal was to reinterpret each of the chapters of the game with a unique visual treatment. Using singular narrative devices would allow us to bridge the styles and travel seamlessly between the past and present. Ultimately Sony decided not to move forward with this project.”
Oddfellows didn’t elaborate on why Sony didn’t move forward with the project, and Sony has also seemingly not commented on the matter. It could just be “one of those things,” but the fact that Sony has apparently not pursued this project with another studio (at least not yet) would tend to suggest that the cancellation may be based more on their desire to move on from the concept and less on any particular problems they were having with Oddfellows vision.
In any case, we’d still love to see this idea come to fruition. The Last of Us tells a brilliant story (it was a big part of the reason why we named it one of the best games of the last decade), and it’s easy enough to imagine that story translating into a more traditional cinematic narrative. Of course, there were those reports of a live-action movie based on the game being in development, but that project appears to be in eternal limbo.
At least we’ll finally get to play The Last of Us Part 2 this year (barring yet another unfortunate video game delay) so we hopefully won’t have to wait too long to dive back into that world.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.