The Last of Us is finally getting a live-action adaptation after a planned movie version was put into development hell.
In March 2020, HBO confirmed that an adaptation of the award-winning PlayStation video game was in development from Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin, game creator Neil Druckmann and Game of Thrones executive producer Carolyn Strauss.
Mazin and Druckmann will write the series as well as executive producing it alongside Strauss, Naughty Dog's Evan Wells and PlayStation Productions' Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan. The pilot episode will be directed by Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov.
"Craig and Neil are visionaries in a league of their own," said Francesca Orsi, Executive VP HBO Programming.
"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 sure to be another big hit for HBO if they manage to successfully adapt the bestselling video game for the screen, and there's already been some exciting casting confirmed for the key roles of Joel and Ellie.
But while we wait for the series to reach our screens, here's everything you need to know about The Last of Us.
The Last of Us cast: Who's starring in The Last of Us?
Let's get the big news out of the way, the lead roles of Joel and Ellie will be played by The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal and Game of Thrones star Bella Ramsey.
That's as much as we know when it comes to casting on the show, but since we know it'll follow the story of the game, we roughly know what other characters that we can expect to see in the show.
They include Joel's brother Tommy, Joel's smuggling partner and friend Tess, Fireflies leader Marlene and Ellie's friend and love interest Riley, who appeared in The Last of Us prequel Left Behind.
Druckmann has also been teasing that the TV show will eventually feature Abby, the controversial character introduced in The Last of Us Part II. If you haven't played the games, we'll leave off just why Abby proved so divisive.
And now you have Ellie, Riley, Tess, Marlene, Maria, ⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️, and a few others! 😉 https://t.co/GMozU0TaZE
— Dr. Uckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) March 8, 2020
There's been no casting rumours yet about who might play the other characters, so it could well be that some roles will be played by the same actors who voiced them in the original game.
However, after Pascal's casting, we know that Troy Baker won't be playing Joel in the TV show, although he has an idea of how he can cameo in the series.
"I would love to be someone who's like, 'By the way, he's an Infected' and I want to be blown up by Joel. That would be the best. Or just the guy who's like Quint in Jaws, just like, 'Oh, you think you're gonna make it out of this? Let me tell you where you're gonna go'," he said on his YouTube channel.
The Last of Us release date: When will The Last of Us premiere?
Long story short, we don't have a confirmed release date for The Last of Us yet.
However, we do know that we'll be getting a full season of it, at least, as HBO confirmed in November 2020 that it had given the show a series order. The network didn't state how episodes have been commissioned though (via Deadline).
After the show had been confirmed to be in development, Mazin noted that he'd been "talking about it for months" with Druckmann, but that since Naughty Dog were finishing the game sequel, they couldn't start on it "right away".
"We're going to dig in in full, full earnest once they wrap up their final work on the sequel," he said on his Scriptnotes podcast pre-release.
The Last of Us Part II was released in June 2020, so we can assume that they've been hard at work on developing the show and the casting of Joel and Ellie is a huge step forward. However, without a confirmed date for filming, a 2021 release seems unlikely.
Whenever it does premiere, it will air on HBO in the US and while a UK broadcaster has yet to be confirmed, HBO shows typically end up airing on Sky Atlantic.
The Last of Us story: What's The Last of Us about?
With the show's announcement, we got the first official synopsis for the adaptation and (unsurprisingly) it echoes the setup of the game which takes place 20 years after "modern civilisation has been destroyed".
"Joel, 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 US and depend on each other for survival," it reads.
As fans will know, their journey will see them come face-to-face with terrifying infected creatures and in classic post-apocalyptic fashion, not every human that Joel and Ellie come across will prove to be friendly.
Ellie also holds a secret that could prove to be vital to humanity's future and if the show closely follows events of the first game, expect some dramatic reveals and surprising twists.
While the series covers the events of the first game, it will also potentially include elements from the sequel and even if you've played the games, there are surprises in store.
"Neil, at one point he was like, 'You know, there's one thing we were talking about for a while, and then he told me what it was, and I was like, 'OK, jaw drop, that's going in'," Mazin told BBC's Must Watch.
"We have to do that. You couldn't stop me from doing that, you will have to shoot me to stop me from doing that, so we're doing that. And there's quite a few things like that, where it's not like we just decided, 'Wouldn't it be cool if Joel and Ellie got on motorcycles and confronted a motorcycle gang?' That's not what we do. There's no episodic nonsense here.
"This is all very much curated, but the things that are new and enhancing of the storyline we're doing are connected in organic, serious ways that I think fans of the game and newcomers alike will appreciate."
The Last of Us trailer: Any footage of The Last of Us yet?
Unfortunately, filming hasn't even started yet, so any footage is still a while away as we don't know when the series will air. Keep this page bookmarked for the latest news and we'll let you know as soon as we do.
The Last of Us will air on HBO in the US. A UK broadcaster has yet to be confirmed.
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