Back in 2014, it was reported that a movie adaptation of the game was in the works, coming from a collaboration with Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann and Evil Dead’s Sam Raimi. However, it seems that this venture has fizzled out, and that the HBO adaptation will rise from its ashes. Druckmann, the writer and creative director of the critically acclaimed game, is back and will be working with Craig Mazin who is the creator of HBO’s Chernobyl miniseries. He’s an excellent fit for the adaptation, with rave reviews and awards for his show that showed the complexity of human relationships in the midst of an encroaching disaster. Also, executive producer of Game of Thrones Carolyn Strauss has joined the project with Druckmann and Mazin, so we know this will be a big budget affair.
So, does it take place before The Last of Us? Does it follow Joel and/or Ellie? Does it fill in the story between the first game and the anticipated second game? No, yes, no. The HBO adaptation will keep to the events of The Last of Us, and bring Joel and Ellie’s tumultuous and traumatic journey to the small screen. Personally, I thought this would have been a perfect opportunity to explore a world that we haven’t seen in the game with characters that are totally new and tread their own paths. But, that’s just me. Unrelated but related: watch Fear the Walking Dead.
“Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus,” said Mazin in a press release. “Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I’m so honored to do it in partnership with Neil.”
Druckmann praised his collaborators, and added, “From the first time I sat down to talk with Craig I was equally blown away by his approach to narrative and his love and deep understanding of The Last of Us. With Chernobyl, Craig and HBO created a tense, harrowing, emotional masterpiece. I couldn’t think of better partners to bring the story of The Last of Us to life as a television show.” At the moment, we don’t know when the adaptation is set to release. We don’t have any information about casting or filming, so it’s likely that this project has just gotten the green light. Of course, we’ll keep you in the loop once we know more.
The Last of Us Part II will launch for PlayStation 4 on May 29, after a delay from its original release date. “We know all of you have been so patient over the last few years, so it’s been thrilling to see our game taking on its final shape and knowing that means it will be in your hands soon,” said Naughty Dog.