HBO is working on adapting The Last of Us into a TV series. In an effort to make sure that the show is actually, well, good (unlike most video game adaptations), Neil Druckmann — the writer and creative director of both The Last of Us and its upcoming sequel — will be involved to help write and executive produce, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
I can’t believe we get to team up with one of my favorite writers to bring Ellie and Joel’s journey to HBO. https://t.co/GNsl0sUVSK— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) March 5, 2020
Leading the adaption is Craig Mazin, the creator of HBO’s critically acclaimed drama Chernobyl. It seems like a perfect fit, given the post-apocalyptic world the games take place in. (The Last of Us wouldn’t be Mazin’s only video game project, either. He’s also working with director Eli Roth on a film version of the far more lighthearted Borderlands games.) Evan Wells, the president of Naughty Dog, will also serve as an executive producer as will HBO’s Carolyn Strauss.
Additionally, Sony Pictures Television will co-produce the show alongside HBO through its PlayStation Productions studio (which is also working on the long-gestating Uncharted film adaption), making it the first TV series from the studio.
The Last of Us sees a grizzled smuggler named Joel protecting a young girl named Ellie as they journey across the country, which has long been overrun by ravenous fungal zombies. The duo must deal with the threat of the zombies as well as more conventional human scavengers as they struggle to survive. The HBO series is set to adapt just the first game in the series, although The Hollywood Reporter notes that there’s a possibility of extending the series based on content from The Last of Us Part II (which is set five years after the original game) as well.
The PlayStation-exclusive title was a massive success for Sony. It was praised for its compelling narrative and characters, with talks of a film adaption following less than a year after it was released. That film — set to be produced by Sam Raimi — was reportedly stuck in development hell back in 2016.
Mazin is said to be a fan of the games, commenting, “Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus. 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.”