The Last of Us show “may have a plan” for spores

A still from The Last of UsHBO

One of the biggest changes in The Last of Us TV series is the removal of spores – however, there “may be a plan” to introduce them, according to the showrunner.

In The Last of Us game, Joel is forced to wear a mask during certain levels to protect himself from spores. It’s one of the ways the Cordyceps fungal virus spreads, and used to indicate to players that infected enemies may be nearby.

Of course, Ellie never needs to wear a mask, as she’s immune. But the show replaced spores with tendrils and a network of fungus, opting for a more “realistic” approach and wanting to avoid hiding actors’ faces behind masks most of the time.

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Some fans were critical of the decision, but Episode 2 seems to have put their concerns to rest – and it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll never see spores in the show.

Spores may be in The Last of Us show after all

In The Last of Us Episode 2, Ellie mentioned “super-infected that explode fungus spores on you”, and we saw Tess receiving a kiss of death from a Stalker. Tendril bites may be the most common way of spreading the disease, but airborne spores aren’t out of the question.

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In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, co-showrunner Craig Mazin said: “Part of the issue with the spores is that you run into them quite a bit in the game, although not as much as people think, and if there were that many spores and they were airborne, that infection’s gonna go even faster.

“It’s hard to imagine how anyone escapes it, and people would probably be wearing masks all the time. In the game, the second you leave a spore space, you’re like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa! Get a mile away.'”

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Mazin said he doesn’t “necessarily think we’ve eliminated spores from the universe of our show. We just haven’t gotten there yet. It’s possible that they may come back. We may have a plan, is my point.”

Neil Druckmann, the co-creator of the original game, feared spores wouldn’t “live up to how realistic the show has become… [but] if enough people show up on day one, we might get to show the spores.”

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The Last of Us Episode 3 will be available to watch on January 29 in the US and January 30 in the UK. You can check out the rest of our coverage here, and the trailer for the weeks ahead here.

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