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.
— HBO (@HBO) March 5, 2020
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.
And now you have Ellie, Riley, Tess, Marlene, Maria, ⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️, and a few others! ? https://t.co/GMozU0TaZE
— Dr. Uckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) March 8, 2020
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.
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.
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*