The Last Of Us: game director no longer keen on movie plans

The movie version of the hit video game The Last Of Us continues to roast in development hell, and Neil Druckmann is fine with it...

Back in January 2016, Last Of Us game director Neil Druckmann was very positive about the script he’d just completed for the movie adaptation of the story, but it appears that time, in fact, is the mind-killer. Time is the little-death that brings total obliteration, because Druckmann now sounds like he hopes that particular screenplay never finds its way in front of cameras.

In a new interview with 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg at this year’s DICE Summit, via Screen Rant, Druckmann strayed into a short period of reflection with regards to that time in his life, and the development of the movie in general, and it’s clear that he would not be happy for it to gain traction again:

“Even I worked on the script for The Last Of Us film, which was a direct adaptation,” Druckmann noted. “And now, having some separation from it, I look back and [am] like, ‘I don’t want that movie to be made.'”

Blimey, how bad was it?

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Druckmann doesn’t think all hope is lost when it comes to a Last Of Us big screen adventure, though…just not one with Ellie and Joel:

“Maybe there’s something that could be done in the world, either focusing on other characters or other time. But, for me, and I know for Naughty Dog and for a lot of our fans, Nolan North is Nathan Drake, Ashley Johnson is Ellie, Troy Baker is Joel. And it would be very disorienting to see someone else in that role.”

More on this if we get it.

The Last Of Us movie release date

Thanks to the seemingly endless arguments over the rights and story, there’s no word yet on when The Last Of Us will reach cinemas screens around the globe. As there’s no shooting schedule nailed down just yet, we’d wager that it’d take a huge U-turn of luck for the movie to arrive any earlier than 2019.

Flick over to page 2 now, where we’ve got more details on why the project has stalled…

The Last Of Us movie: development hell

November 2016

It’s been ages since we last heard any major news about The Last Of Us – a proposed movie adaptation of Naughty Dog’s hit post-apocalyptic videogame. Previously, we heard that things were moving along quite promisingly, with a second-draft script by screenwriter Neil Druckmann complete as of last January and a table read having taken place.

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In a new update, however, producer Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Spider-Man) has confirmed fans’ fears by dishing details on exactly why behind the scenes problems have hit The Last Of Us hard. It seems development hell has sunk its teeth into the film and is refusing to let go, as a mixture of who controls the rights and arguments over which direction the story should take has left hands tied across the board.

“Well, unfortunately that one – when we went to Neil with Ghost House Pictures we were hoping to get the rights like we do any project and then we’d take it out and sell it but we’d control the rights. With this one he went to Sony – who I have a very good relationship with – but they have their own plans for it and I think Neil’s plan for it – I’m not trying to be political – Neil’s plan for it is not the same as Sony’s,” Raimi explained to IGN. “And because my company doesn’t have the rights, I actually can’t help him too much. Even though I’m one of the producers on it the way he set it up, he sold his rights to Sony, Sony hired me as a producer by chance, and I can’t get the rights free for him so I’m not in the driver’s seat and I can’t tell you what Sony and Neil together will decide on. If they do move forward I’d love to help them again.”

Raimi did, however, confirm that he is still attached to produce The Last Of Us: “Yes, I’m attached to it. I’m not too sure what that means. Right now it’s just sitting there. They don’t want to move forward, and it’s not my place to say why, and Neil, I think, is in a slight disagreement with them about how things should go so there’s a standstill. And I don’t have the power to move it.”

Previously, screenwriter Neil Druckmann (who also directed the magnificent game on which it’s based) had suggested that things appeared to have hit a bit of a road bump – or at least slowed down somewhat. 

“I know I said in an interview a while back we had a table read,” Druckmann told IGN, “[but] it kind of entered development hell like these things tend to do. There hasn’t been any work done on it in over a year and a half.”

The Last Of Us movie cast: Maisie Williams is interested

“The actual film, the making of the film, the script and everything is in very, very early days,” Game Of Thrones and Doctor Who star Maisie Williams told Digital Spy on the topid of The Last Of Us back in April 2015, before expressing her interest in the core role of Ellie.

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“It was announced sort of prematurely almost in that I would love to play Ellie, they would love me to play Ellie”, Williams explained. “There’s no film happening at this very second, so I cannot play Ellie right at this very minute. But when that comes around – if and when that comes around – I’ll be here.”

The casting of the main bloke from the game, Joel, is a bit less open and shut. Online rumours have linked the likes of Hugh Jackman and Dylan McDermott (perhaps best known around these parts for his gruff turn as Forbes in Olympus Has Fallen) to the role, but no clear favourite – or even a shortlist – has emerged from the production of the movie itself just yet.

The Last Of Us movie script: Neil Druckman promises “big changes”

It’s been known for some time that a movie version of The Last Of Us is in the works, and promisingly the director of the brilliant game – Neil Druckmann – is also the man overseeing the screenplay for the film.

In a January 2016 interview with Game Informer, Druckmann confirmed that he’s completed a second draft of the script, and that a table read of it has taken place. He didn’t name the actors that took part in said table read, it’s worth noting.

Druckmann added that the script is “pretty faithful to the game”, but did add that “there are some big changes”. He offset that by adding the “the tone and what the story’s trying to say is pretty faithful to the game”.

The Last Of Us movie seems to be taking a while to get going, but we just hope that the hardened edge that helped make the game so memorable will remain firmly intact when the film adaptation eventually gets made. More as we hear it…

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