Cast, release date and rumors: here’s everything we know about The Last of Us TV series produced by HBO.
The Last of US: Joel and Ellie forcefully enter the world of TV series
It’s been just under 10 years since that August 2013, when The Last of Us landed for the first time on PlayStation 3, revolutionizing the world of videogame storytelling. The original title, as well as its sequel dated 2020, narrates the journey of Joel ed Ellie through a zombie-infested America. A story that is also about to arrive on the small screen, to the delight of all fans of the franchise. In 2020 the HBO has in fact announced its intention to carry out a TV series dedicated to The Last of Us, with a budget of around $ 10 million per episode. The cast will feature beloved actors such as Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, The Mandalorian), Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones) e Gabriel Luna (Prison Break, True Detective). Here’s everything we know about the TV adaptation due out in 2023.
SPOILER ALERT: Plot contains spoilers, skip that paragraph if you haven’t finished the game or don’t know the ending. SPOILER WARNING in bold will warn you when there is a spoiler.
The plot: Ellie and Joel’s journey across America
The story is set in one post-apocalyptic scenario, 20 years after the beginning of a zombie outbreak on Earth. These creatures, called Infected, were affected by a parasite born from the mutation of the fungus Cordyceps, which now infects and kills humans as well as animals. The protagonists of the videogame are Joel ed Ellietwo strangers who will find themselves having to establish a strong bond, learning to trust each other. Joel is a smuggler who knew the world before the apocalypse and who during the early stages of the catastrophe lost his daughter while Ellie – which has only 14 years – was born in the midst of the spread of the parasite.
Unbeknownst to Joel, Ellie is immune to the epidemic, having been bitten by an infected without turning into a zombie. Ellie’s guardian, Marlene, sends Joel on a mission, without giving the man too many explanations: he must escort the girl to the other side of the country, hoping to create a vaccine. ATTENTION THE NEXT SENTENCE CONTAINS A HUGE SPOILER: For the realization of the cure, unbeknownst to Joel, Ellie risks being killed by the doctors and will do his utmost to save her at the expense of the search for a possible vaccine. During their tumultuous journey, Joel and Ellie form a very strong relationship, almost as if they were father and daughter.
How much will the plot of the TV series differ from that of the video game?
Neil Druckmann, co-president of Naughty Dog (software house that developed the video games) and director, confirmed to IGN that some dialogues from the game will also appear in the TV series. However, other parts of the plot may “deviate greatly to be rendered better on the small screen.” The director added: “Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated significantly from the story and I can’t wait for people to see them.” In July, the actor Jeffrey Pierce he commented on the scripts of The Last Of Us calling them “the best scripts I’ve ever seen in terms of detail and plot. A writing that captures the true essence of Joel and Ellie’s characters “
In October 2021, Bella Ramsey, who will play Ellie on the series, told the BBC: “There are a lot of fans of the video game in the crew and they said a lot of things are very, very similar to the game. A lot of people on set feel like they’re getting into the game, so I think that’s a good thing. “
A stellar cast for The Last of Us TV series
In February it was confirmed that Pedro Pascal (Game Of Thrones, Narcos) will play lead character Joel Miller. A June report from TheGamer later revealed that Pascal wasn’t actually HBO’s first choice for the lead role. The studio would have indeed wanted Matthew McConaughey for the part, which, however, would have rejected the role. Ellie will instead be played by the young woman Bella Ramseywhich HBO viewers already know as Lyanna Mormont in Game Of Thrones.
Joel’s brother Tommy will be played by Gabriel Luna (Agents of SHIELD), while Ellie’s tutor, Marlene, will be played by Merle Dandridgewho served as both voice actress and model for the character in the original 2013 game. Last July it was announced that Sarah, Joel’s deceased daughter, will be played by Nico Parker (Dumbo). A few days later Deadline announced that he will also be in the cast Jeffrey Pierce – who in the games voiced Tommy, Joel’s brother in the games – as Perry. Created specifically for the TV series, Perry is one of the characters that the protagonists will meet in one of the many quarantine areas scattered around the country.
Nick Offerman he will play Bill, an old friend of Joel’s who appeared in the first game, who will help Joel and Ellie on their journey. Murray Bartlett he was instead cast as Frank, Bill’s partner briefly mentioned in the first game. The role of Tess, Joel’s smuggling partner, goes to the Australian actress Anna Torv (Fringe, Mindhunter). September 24 Brad Leland (Friday Night Lights) has made it known that he will participate in the shoot, but it is not clear in what capacity. According to IGN she could play a new character called Mr. Adler.
The Last of Us: the TV series will also present minor and unreleased characters
The Zambian actress Natasha Mumba revealed, through her Instagram bio, that she will be starring on the show playing a new character named Kim Tembo. On January 15th Deadline announced that Storm Reid was cast as Riley Abel, Ellie’s best friend, who died in the Left Behind prequel expansion. The actress confirmed the news through her Twitter profile.
Neil Druckmann he tweeted that the television adaptation will also introduce the characters of Maria (Tommy’s wife), Riley (Ellie’s best friend) and a mysterious character who would have a four-letter name. Fans speculate that it is Anna, Ellie’s mother.
Are there any first images from the set?
In July 2021, the actor Gabriel Luna shared a photo with Pedro Pascalpart of the cast and with the director Kantemir Balagov. Last September HBO instead shared the first official photo of the series. The shot depicts Ellie and Joel.
November 7 Neil Druckmann shared a tweet from the set, announcing that filming for her episode was over.
Alas… my time in Canada has come to an end. To the best tv crew in the world, thank you for your incredible work, your passion, and for making me feel so welcome! I will miss you terribly!
Excited to return to Naughty Dog (and some warmer weather!) ♥️ 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/A9hsy7gPpA
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) November 7, 2021
When does The Last of Us come out? How many episodes will the TV series be composed of?
The HBO adaptation of The Last Of Us will consist of 10 episodes and each episode will last about an hour. By comparison, the average playing time required to complete the main story in the early game clocks was around 15 hours. We can therefore imagine that the TV show will focus more on the characters than on the action, which instead plays a fundamental role in the videogame franchise.
Although a release date has not yet been announced, an April 2021 report from Collider revealed that production on the TV series began last July in Calgary, Canada. Filming will wrap on June 8, 2022. HBO’s chief of programming, Casey Bloysrevealed just yesterday in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that The Last Of Us release won’t happen in 2022.
Directors and authors of the television adaptation
The adaptation in terms of writing is entrusted to Neil Druckmann – co-president of Naughty Dog and creative director of the franchise – and Craig Mazin (Chernobyl). Mazin is also a producer on the show. Druckmann will also executive produce the show alongside Carolyn Strauss, Rose Lam, Carter Swan and Asaz Qizilbash (by PlayStation Productions). The production of the series is indeed una joint venture tra HBO, Sony Pictures TV, PlayStation Productions, Word Games e Naughty Dog.
The pilot was directed by the Russian director Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole, Closeness). On August 31, Balagov revealed on Instagram that he had finished filming his episode of him. Other episodes will be directed by Jasmila Žbanić (Where are you going, Aida?) Ali Abbasi (Shelley, Border) e Peter Hoar (Daredevil, The Umbrella Academy). On January 24, the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) released an updated list of the troupe linked to the show, revealing that the directors Liza Johnson (Dead to Me, Barry) e Jeremy Webb (The Umbrella Academy, Shadow and Bone) have been nominated to helm a few episodes of the show.
The series could cost more than 10 million per episode
A Forbes report from last July reports that HBO was not at all stingy with the budget for The Last Of Us. According to the president of IATSE 212 – the Calgary trade union association for film artists and technicians involved in the filming of the series – the show’s budget “far exceeds eight figures per episode.” This means that each episode could cost more than $ 10 million. If this rumor was confirmed it would make it more expensive than some …