The long-awaited sequel to The Last of Us finally arrives for gamers everywhere this May 29th. But a bonus bit of news has popped up today concerning an adaptation of the Sony PlayStation exclusive, one that’s headed to HBO with some top-tier talent behind the scenes.
As THR reports, The Last of Us TV series is in the works with writers / executive producers Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and Neil Druckmann (The Last of Us franchise, Uncharted franchise). Whether this gets off the ground–or whether it’s just a well-timed media bump ahead of the sequel’s release in a couple months–remains to be seen, but a TV series is a departure from the previous plans of a possible movie adaptation. If it comes to be, The Last of Us will be the first television series from PlayStation Productions.
In a move that should be common sense but is actually a rarity with such projects, Druckmann will be lending his years of experience with the franchise to Mazin; you have only to watch Chernobyl to see how the latter screenwriter’s talents are well-suited to the post-apocalyptic tale of survivors Joel and Ellie. Previously, Druckmann had said:
I worked on the script for The Last of Us film, which was a direct adaptation. And now, having some separation from it, I look back and [am] like, ‘I don’t want that movie to be made.’”
But as THR has it, the HBO series is expected cover the events of the original game and possibly portions of the sequel, The Last of Us Part II. So, either Druckmann changed his tune for reasons unknown or THR has the wrong of it; we’re betting on the former since Sony likely wants to get a new generation of audiences invested in the title, even if they haven’t played the games.
Here’s what Mazin had to say about the project:
“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.”
Druckmann reflected that praise back:
“From the first time I sat down to talk with Craig I was equally blown away by his approach to narrative and his love and deep understanding of The Last of Us. With Chernobyl, Craig and HBO created a tense, harrowing, emotional masterpiece. I couldn’t think of better partners to bring the story of The Last of Us to life as a television show.”
Chris Parnell, co-president of Sony Pictures Television Studios, says that The Last of Us will be “the first of many shows [they] intend to develop with our friends at PlayStation Productions”; stay tuned to see what might be coming up next.
Carolyn Strauss and Evan Wells, the president of Naughty Dog, will executive produce the project, a co-production with Sony Pictures Television in association with PlayStation Productions.