The Last of Us

Last of Us HBO series writer explains why movie format didn’t work out

Published: 31/Jul/2020 19:26 Updated: 3/Sep/2020 12:29

by Michael Gwilliam


The Last of Us TV writer Craig Mazin delved into the upcoming HBO show in an interview with BBC and explained they opted for a series format instead of a movie.

Speaking with the BBC, Mazin discussed his work on Chernobyl before the conversation shifted to The Last of Us.

Mazin was asked about how the series format will allow the audience to go “further and further” into the story, which thus far has consisted of two games and why they decided a HBO show was the right fit.

“For a time they were trying to make a movie of it. And I can understand why it didn’t work out, because the ‘joy’ of a story like The Last of Us is in its length,” Mazin explained. “It’s a journey and it’s a slow creation of a relationship.”

Ellie gasps at the HBO logo
Naughty Dog/HBO
HBO announced a Last of Us TV series on March 5.

The Last of Us is about relationships

The first The Last of Us game is primarily about how the bond between protagonists Joel and Ellie grows and blossoms before it ultimately becomes increasingly complicated at the story’s climax.

“We understand inherently that relationships that are earned over time are more precious and more deserving to fence,” he added. “So it had to be in this format. And without question, we intend to deepen peoples’ connection…”

According to Mazin, The Last of Us HBO series will be introducing the franchise to a lot of new people who don’t know the story, but for those who have played the game, their intention is that the series won’t “violate” what they loved about it to begin with.

Joel states at Ellie
Naughty Dog
Joel and Ellie are the main characters in The Last of Us.

Mazin teases jaw-dropping moments

Mazin then briefly hinted at something special that Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann has planned for the show.

“Neil at one point, he’s like ‘you know, there’s one thing we were talking about for awhile,’ and then he told me what it was and I was like ‘gonk!’ Okay, jaw-dropped, that’s going in,” he laughed. “For sure, we have to do that. You couldn’t stop me from doing that. You will have to shoot me to stop me from doing that.”

Mazin added that there’s “quite a few things like that” and they aren’t story pieces that were added on the fly. An example he gave was having Ellie and Joel get on motorcycles and confront a gang. “That’s not what we do. There’s no episodic nonsense here. This is all very much curated, but the things that are new and enhancing of the story that we’re doing are connected in organic, serious ways.”

At the moment, the show is still in the writing process and no release date is set, but we can’t wait to see what the series looks like once it’s finally all said and done.

The Last of Us

What we know about The Last of Us HBO TV show – cast, release date, more

Published: 25/Sep/2020 21:48 Updated: 25/Sep/2020 21:49

by Brent Koepp


Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us is officially getting a TV adaptation, thanks to television genius HBO. Here is everything we know about it, including cast, release date, and more.

First released in 2013 for PlayStation 3 and later released on PS4, The Last Of Us is often regarded as the best zombie game of all time, as well as the best PS exclusive. It follows the story of Joel after an outbreak of the Cordyceps fungus 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.

Following the success of the first title, Naughty Dog announced a sequel to the zombie survival action game which was released on June 19. Furthermore, television network HBO is also creating a TV show based on the series, and ND Vice President Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin are on board to write and executive produce it.

Cast, characters & director

In March 2020, Home Box Office announced that they were taking on the project, and its first director has since been revealed. Breaking Bad and Chernobyl director Johan Renck is set to helm the pilot episode, as told in an interview with Discussing Film.

“It’s an ongoing TV series. So that’s not something that I will be able to take on to that extent, but I’m part of that series and I will be directing at least the pilot,” he said.

Not all of the cast and characters are known so far, though Joel and Ellie will obviously play a huge part. Who will be taking on their roles is currently unknown.

In a tweet on March 8, Naughty Dog Vice President Neil Druckmann confirmed that Riley from Left Behind will be in the show, as well as Tess, Maria, and Marlene.

“And now you have Ellie, Riley, Tess, Marlene, Maria, ****, and a few others!” he tweeted, blocking out another character with four square emojis. Now that Part II has been released, we know that he was referring to Abby.

On September 22, 2020, during a Reddit AMA, Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau hinted that he may be portraying Joel in the upcoming series. While he didn’t outright say he was playing him, he also didn’t deny it when asked and even mentioned that he had just gotten his hands on Part II. Only time will tell if it comes true.

Release date

There’s no current release date set for the show, but considering the fact they’ve yet to announce casting, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume a release date of late 2021, or even 2022.

Craig Mazin revealed during his weekly podcast Scriptnotes that production wouldn’t start until Part II of the game had released. “We can’t start on it right away because [Naughty Dog is] still finishing up the second game, but pretty soon,” he said.

The Last of Us Part II was released on June 19, but given the current state of events, it’s unclear as to whether production for the show will start any time soon.

Naughty Dog
The popular PlayStation 4 tile will bring its brutal story to HBO.

The plot

In March, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the series will cover the events from the first game, with the “possibility” of it delving into Part II in the future.

Whether it will continue past the events of both games is currently unknown, but speaking to GameSpot, Troy Baker, Joel’s voice actor, claimed 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 through it… *cough* like the final season of Game of Thrones *cough*