A series based on The Last of Us in the works at HBO, according to THR. The adaptation is being led by Craig Mazin, the creator of the critically-acclaimed Chernobyl limited series, and Naughty Dog creative director and Last of Us creator Neil Druckmann. The team will write and executive produce the series.
The Last of Us is set in a post-apocalyptic America that’s been ravaged by a viral outbreak that turns humans into homicidal mutants who transmit the infection by biting others. The story follows a smuggler named Joel, who must transport a young girl named Ellie to a medical facility across the country. Ellie, who’s bitten prior to the events of the game, is immune to the infection and may be humanity’s last hope to cure the virus.
Released in 2013 for the PlayStation 3, the action-adventure survival horror game is largely regarded as one of the best ever made, in no small part due to its writing, characters, and voice acting. A sequel, The Last of Us Part II, will be out in May for the PlayStation 4.
According to THR, the series will be based on the events of the first game, “with the possibility of additional content based on the forthcoming game sequel.”
Also producing the series will be Carolyn Strauss and Naughty Dog president Evan Wells, along with Sony Pictures Television and PlayStation Productions.
Said Mazin of his collaboration with Druckmann, “Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus. 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.”
“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,” said Druckmann in a statement. “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.”
Chris Parnell, co-president of Sony Pictures Television Studios, teased that The Last of Us is “the first of many shows” the studio intends to develop with PlayStation Productions, which should excite fans of PlayStation properties such as Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, and Uncharted. (The latter is getting a movie, though, so don’t hold your breath.)
This isn’t the first time someone has tried to adapt The Last of Us. Sony previously planned to turn the game into a movie written by Druckmann and produced by Sam Raimi, but creative differences between Druckmann and Sony doomed the film to development hell. Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) was even being considered for the role of Ellie at the time!
Let’s hope this latest attempt at an adaptation actually gets off the ground. No director was named during the announcement, nor do we have a production start date, but we’ll keep you updated as we learn more.