Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin is bringing Sony’s blockbuster game The Last of Us to television for HBO.
As showrunner, Mazin is co-writing the pilot episode with Neil Druckmann, who will serve as an executive producer on the series. Johan Renck, who directed the entirety of Chernobyl, has signed on to helm the pilot.
HBO’s Last of Us series
“The story takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone,” the show’s official synopsis reads.
“What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.”
“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,” Druckmann said in a statement.
“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.”
“Our goal is not to keep you in love with The Last of Us, but to make you fall in love with it again in a different way. It’s a passive way of taking it in — instead of playing it — but you’ll be experiencing more, with more characters in more ways. I think we’ve got something good going,” Mazin told the BBC over the summer.
“If you have played the game, our intention is that you will watch the show and say ‘this has violated nothing of what I loved about the game, and what I witnessed in the game, but it has also brought me a whole lot more — things I did not know. Really amazing things.’”
The Last of Us TV show trailer
It could be some time before we see an official trailer.
The Last of Us series cast
Pedro Pascal, of Game of Thrones and The Mandalorian, will play Joel in the TV show.
Ellie will be played by Bella Ramsey, also a Game of Thrones alum – she played Lyanna Mormont and took down a zombified giant.
In a video on his YouTube channel, actor Troy Baker has said he’d like to be involved, in some small way, with the new Last of Us HBO series.
“I want to be an Infected and get blown up by Joel,” he joked. “That would be the best. Or the guy who’s like Quint in Jaws — who’s like: ‘You think you’re going to make it out of this?’”
On April 15, Variety broke the news that Gabriel Luna will play Joel's estranged brother Tommy.
Luna is best known for his roles in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Terminator: Dark Fate.
Tommy and Joel fell out after infection day for reasons the game briefly mentions and the HBO adaptation could elaborate further.
The Last of Us series release date
The project’s IMDb entry seems to think the show will premiere in 2021, but let’s be honest: COVID-19 has made release dates pretty dubious this year.
Consider any release window subject to change, especially with something like a video-game adaptation involving HBO and Sony.