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HBO greenlights 'The Last of Us' TV series

By Kara Santos Published Nov 23, 2020 3:13 am

It’s actually happening! The small-screen series adaptation of the hugely popular post-apocalyptic video game The Last of Us has landed a series order at HBO.

Series creator and Naughty Dog vice president Neil Druckmann will be working as both writer and executive producer, alongside Craig Mazin, who previously helmed the five-part miniseries Chernobyl.

After months of developing a pilot for a potential series adaptation of the acclaimed video game, the premium cable outlet officially gave the series the greenlight. The project is the first television series from PlayStation Productions.

In a statement, Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming, said, “Craig and Neil are visionaries in a league of their own. With them at the helm alongside the incomparable Carolyn Strauss, this series is sure to resonate with both die-hard fans of The Last of Us games and newcomers to this genre-defining saga. We’re delighted to partner with Naughty Dog, Word Games, Sony and PlayStation to adapt this epic, powerfully immersive story.”

The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror video game set in a post-pandemic United States that follows Joel, a hardened survivor of the apocalypse, who is hired to smuggle 14-year old Ellie out of an oppressive quarantine zone.

Set 20 years after an infectious pandemic spread by the cordyceps virus had ravaged the world, the game follows the unlikely pair's brutal and emotionally-charged journey where they end up depending on each other for survival.

The original game, from the same studio as the Uncharted series, was first launched in 2013 for PlayStation 3 and in 2014 for PlayStation 4, where it immediately garnered critical acclaim for its striking narrative, gameplay, visuals, sound design, and characters.

The Last of Us became one of the best-selling video games in its initial release, selling over 17 million copies and garnering multiple Game of the Year awards. Nearly seven years since its launch, the video game is currently recognized as one of the greatest ever made.

The sequel, The Last of Us Part II, released in June 2020 became one of the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusives, with over four million units sold during its release weekend.

The television series adaptation will be tackling the events of the first video game with the possibility of additional content based on the sequel, which picks up five years after the first game's shocking ending.

No release date or official casting details have been made yet, but that hasn’t stopped fans from coming up with their own dream cast of who should play Joel, Ellie, Bill, Tess, Marlene, and others.

The Last of Us will be available on HBO and HBO Max.

(Images from Naughty Dog)