It’s been years since a live-action adaptation of Naughty Dog’s masterful game The Last of Us was first announced. Originally, Joel and Ellie’s story of a road trip through post-apocalyptic America was going to be turned into a movie by Sam Raimi, but those plans fell through. It’s a good thing we now have the upcoming TV series, courtesy of HBO, showrunner Craig Mazin, and Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann. It’s this creative team that will finally bring these characters to live-action, but we’ve seen very little when it comes to official footage and stills thus far.
Fortunately, HBO finally dropped something new at this year’s Summer Game Fest digital showcase, and this still is a big one if you look closely (and turn up the brightness on your monitor all the way up). Below is not only your first official look at Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie but also the very first look at a Clicker in live action:
Yes, that creature stalking in the background while Joel and Ellie sneak around a desk is one of the most dreaded infected in The Last of Us games. Unlike Stalkers and Runners, Clickers can’t be so easily killed with bullets — at the very least, you’ll need a lot of them if you want to face these creatures head on. Much stronger and more durable, these monsters with what looks like a meaty Venus flytrap for a face can tear out your throat in an instant if you let it get too close. They’re even deadlier in packs.
Their one weakness is that they’re blind, so survivors can in theory sneak up on them and use a blade to take them down quietly. But Clickers make up for their lack of sight with superior hearing, meaning the slightest sound can alert them to your presence. That’s why Pascal and Ramsey are sneaking in the photo above instead of charging through the room guns blazing.
While this is the first time we’re getting such a clear look at the infected, other photos leaked from the set of HBO’s The Last of Us have shown us how the series will recreate other parts of the games, including many of the post-apocalyptic environments. We won’t go into spoilers here, but if you want to take a deep dive into what you can expect to see on the series, there are plenty of set photos here.
It was also announced at SGF that original Joel and Ellie voice actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson will appear on the show in undisclosed roles. Those should be two very fun cameos for longtime fans of the video game series.
The Last of Us will hit HBO Max in 2023.