The Last of Us HBO adaptation gets official series order

Nick Romano
·2 min read

Sony Interactive Entertainment

This isn't the last we're going to hear about the Last of Us series adaptation.

After announcing development of a new show based on the critically praised post-apocalyptic video games, HBO has given an official series order to The Last of Us. Chernobyl Emmy winners Craig Mazin and Carolyn Strauss have been named executive producers alongside Neil Druckmann, the creative director of Naughty Dog who developed the Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II games.

The series will be largely based on the first game, which was released in 2013. The story begins 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed by a fungal pandemic that transformed much of humanity into hobbling mutant creatures. According to the show's logline, "Joel, described as a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. 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."

Should the series continue for multiple seasons, there's potential to delve into the events chronicled in The Last of Us Part II, which was released for the Playstation 4 in June and saw a grown Ellie on a mission across an American hellscape to satiate a thirst for personal vengeance.

Mazin and Druckmann wrote the teleplay for the series together. In a previous interview with EW, Druckmann spoke about his interest in writing stories for different media beyond video games. "Can we make you feel hate, guilt, shame? Which are interesting feelings that are totally unique to video games," he said. "You can't quite do it in films and TV… In removing the interactivity of the story, how do you make it unique for this other medium? It's an interesting challenge, and I think there's a lot to learn from it. More specifically with the show, I got to meet Craig Mazin. I'm a huge fan of Chernobyl, and to find someone who's equally a fan of the work we've done."

Naughty Dog's Evan Wells and PlayStation Productions' Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan will also serve as executive producers on The Last of Us, which is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television. PlayStation Productions, Word Games, and Naughty Dog also produce.

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