An HBO adaptation of The Last Of Us is in the works, and here’s everything we know about it, including casting news, its release date, and more.
First released in 2013 for PlayStation 3 and later released on PS4, The Last Of Us is often considered one of the best games of all time, as well as the best PS exclusive.
The title follows Joel’s story after a Cordyceps fungus mutation takes over the United States. He is tasked with transporting Ellie, a young girl who is immune to the disease, across the country in hopes of developing a cure.
After the success of the first game Naughty Dog released a long-awaited sequel that advanced the story of the main characters. Now HBO and Naughty Dog are bringing the critically acclaimed multimillion-dollar franchise to the screen.
The Last of Us series: actors, characters and director
In March 2020, Home Box Office announced they were taking on the project and revealing its first director. Directed by Johan RenckBreaking Bad”, “Chernobyl“”) was scheduled to helm the pilot episode, but was forced to leave due to scheduling issues.
The project has since attracted Russian director Kantemir Balagov (beanpole), who will now direct Last of Us. Ali Abbasi (The border) and Jasmila Zbanich (Quo vadis, Aida?) were also tapped to direct episodes in the premiere season. More directors are expected to come on board.
As for the cast that will grace the screen in The Last of Us, Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) will play Joel. Ellie will play Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones). Merle Dandridge (Stewardess) will play Marlene, Storm Reed (Euphoria) will play Riley, and Gabrielle Luna (S.H.I.E.L.D.) will play Tommy.
Check out one of the first shots of the cast in action below:
Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann is expected to write several episodes while co-creating the HBO adaptation with Craig Mazin.
Gustavo Santaolalla, who composed the music for both Last of Us games, will provide music for the show. The executive producers are Asad Kyzilbash (Uncharted), Rose Lam (Altered Carbon), Carter Swan of PlayStation Productions, Naughty Dog President Evan Wells, and Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones, Chernobyl).
While Pascal got the lead role of Joel, recent GQ interview revealed that he actually stays away from the video game. Instead of taking inspiration from the original portrayal of the character, he prefers to approach it from a fresh perspective.
“I watched as much as I could that day,” Pascal said as his nephew played the game. “I found Joel so impressive – I found the whole thing such a visually impressive experience. And then I got worried that I would imitate too much, which I think might be right in some circumstances and then wrong in others.
“So I just wanted to create a healthy distance and have it more in the hands of Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann.”
The Last of Us series: possible release date and number of episodes
There is no current release date for the show, but we have a rough idea of when to expect the premiere.
Fans looking forward to the first episode will have to be patient a little more. Despite seeing the cast together for the first time back on July 2, 2021, HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys lived up to expectations in Deadline interview. “It will not air in 2022,” he announced.
“They are still shooting in Canada. I think that you will see [шоу] in 2023. What I’ve seen looks amazing so I’m excited about it, but it won’t be in 2022.”
While no specific month has been set for 2023, we do know that The Last of Us TV show is expected to there will be 10 episodes in season 1.
The Last of Us TV Show: Budget
Although the exact number is unknown, reports suggest that HBO is willing to shell out more money for an episode of The Last of Us than for Game of Thrones.
Interview CTV News with IATSE 212 International Alliance of Theater Workers Union President Damian Petty, who is working on The Last of Us, gave us an idea of HBO’s budget.
“I can’t confirm the official budget figures, but I will say that this is probably the biggest filming project in Canada,” Petty said. “This project is well above the eight-figure mark per episode,” he said, “so there is a multiplier effect on our economy in terms of its impact.”
HBO famously spent over $6 million per episode for the first season of Game of Thrones, with that costing $10 million to $15 million quickly in later seasons.
The Last of Us season 1 is reportedly starting at an eight-figure per-episode budget, and it will be interesting to see how it develops with any orders for future seasons.
The Last of Us series: trailers and screenshots
Although official footage has yet to be revealed, Naughty Dog revealed the first image of the new adaptation on September 26th.
The first official image from the TV show The Last of Us.
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey can be seen as Joel and Ellie. They look across the field at the wreckage, both in costume with their character’s matching backpacks.
The Last of Us series: many photos
The TV show The Last of Us is currently in production, with a lot of filming taking place on external sets. To capture the post-apocalyptic nature of the series, many of these outdoor locations were subdivided and completely redesigned for filming.
From dilapidated vehicles to overgrown foliage, many streets across the United States were given a doomsday makeover to fit the bill.
Considering the budget, it seems like there is no stone left unturned in bringing The Last of Us to life. From the extensive sets to the smallest detail, it’s clear that a lot of love goes into production.
One fan even spotted a Savage Starlight poster on the set of the TV show.
The plot of The Last of Us
In March The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the series would cover the events from the first game, with the “possibility” that it would delve into the second part in the future.
Whether it will continue after the events of both games is currently unknown, but in talking to GameSpot Troy Baker, Joel’s voice actor, stated that the show could have “three to four” seasons to match the pace of the game.
We can only hope that HBO doesn’t rush… *cough* like they did with the last season of Game of Thrones. *cough*