Nicotero admitted that he even noticed the resemblance during a talk with Entertainment Weekly. “I remember watching the first episode of The Last of Us and going, ‘Ummm… guys?'” the executive producer joked. He clarified that the creative team was already deep into working on Daryl Dixon when HBO’s adaptation of the beloved PlayStation game premiered, and while the narratives may appear similar, there are several factors that differentiate the shows.
A New Type of Apocalypse
“It’s really a continuation of Daryl’s story,” Nicotero said. “He’s willing to deliver this kid, but that’s not his sole purpose. His purpose is he has people at home he has to get back to. He needs to get back to Judith, and Carol, and the people at the Commonwealth.”
This stands in contrast to The Last of Us, where protagonist Joel’s main goal is to escort Ellie across the United States, ultimately forming a parental connection with the young teenager. “He kind of got hoodwinked into this detour to France. I think the idea that he connects with this kid feels a little like The Last of Us, but once you get into the journey, it doesn’t feel quite as similar to me. They’re different enough that you can enjoy both.”
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon will follow the titular character, once again played by Norman Reedus, after he washes up on the shores of France. As he tries to make it home, he’s tasked with defending a young boy by the name of Laurent, who is believed to be the key to saving humanity. How he’ll do this remains unknown at the time of writing.