HBO’s The Last of Us TV show will not enter full production until Naughty Dog finishes development on The Last of Us Part II (via IGN). 

Why? Well, co-creator Neil Druckmann is a little busy with his duties as the creative director of the sequel. Craig Mazin, his collaborator, said as much in the latest episode of Mazin’s weekly podcast, Scriptnotes. “We can’t start on it right away because they’re still finishing up the second game, but pretty soon,” explained Mazin. “We’ve been talking about it for months and coming up with little plans and things. But we’re going to dig in in full, full earnest pretty soon, just as soon as they wrap up their final work on the sequel. So, hopefully more exciting news to come on that front because it’s something we’re both motivated to see on TV.”

The Last of Us Part II is set to launch on May 29. Its development has been an ordeal, fraught with crunch conditions, scale and scope creep, and negative attitudes towards new hires, revealed in a recent report. Once this game is out, it is imagined that Naughty Dog will pivot to its unknown online multiplayer project, though it is hoped that its dyed-in-the-wool dedication to perfection does not cause yet another corrosive cycle of crunch.

In his podcast episode, Mazin expanded upon how he came to be on board for the TV show adaptation of the acclaimed game. Actress Shannon Woodward, of HBO’s sci-fi series Westworld, introduced Mazin to Druckmann, and she also voices Dina in The Last of Us Part II. Mazin and Druckmann got to chatting, and the rest is history. However, there was one discrepancy between their two visions. Mazin was not confident that The Last of Us would work as a feature-length film, but Druckmann had been developing a movie adaptation of the game for a long time.

“It is about the development of a relationship over the course of a long journey, so it has to be to be a television show and that’s that,” elaborated the writer. “That’s the way I see it. Happily, Neil agreed and HBO was delighted, and so here we are.”
 

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