In a surprise announcement, Naughty Dog, in collaboration with HBO, announced they will be developing 2013’s The Last of Us into a TV series.
The game’s writer and creative director, Neil Druckmann, is confirmed to help write and executive produce the series. He will be working alongside Craig Mazin, who helms the project. Mazin is well-known for his critically acclaimed series Chernobyl on HBO.
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
The TV series will reportedly follow the events of the first game, though it is mentioned that there might be additional content based on its upcoming sequel, The Last of Us: Part II. There is no mention of a release date yet.
Here’s a brief recap on the game’s events; Joel is a survivor in an ongoing pandemic caused by Cordyceps Brain Infection (CBI), turning people into Infected. He is suddenly asked to smuggle a 14-year-old girl, Ellie, out of a harsh quarantined zone, and they go through an unexpected journey for survival together.
This will be the first TV series from Sony’s Interactive Entertainment’s Film and TV group, PlayStation Productions, and is co-producing with Sony Pictures Television. They previously worked on the Ratchet & Clank movie back in 2016 (which, to be quite frank, I totally forgot about) and are working on developing and Uncharted movie, which had its own set of challenges as well.
To be quite honest, I could see why Sony would want to create a TV series for this game. The game gained massive success when it released back in 2013, and its storytelling is one of the best in the gaming industry.
But, that was why the video game was so good. Because it was able to combine both story and gameplay to form the perfect experience for everyone to enjoy. So, to take that game element away might just change the entire experience. To watch it, as just a show, in my opinion, is not how I would envision ever experiencing The Last of Us in any way.
Of course, by adapting it to screens, it would reach a wider audience, especially to folk who don’t play games at all. So that makes sense, though I still stand by the fact that The Last of Us is best experienced with both story and game elements involved.
But who knows? My mind could always change, so we’ll have to see once the series hits HBO.