Video games have notoriously had bad luck with adaptation into movies and TV shows. Most of them are awful. There are at least a few gems though, and more recently we have seen successful movies like Pokémon: Detective Pikachu and Sonic: The Hedgehog. Netflix‘s The Witcher series (technically based on the novels but more inspired by its video games) is a major hit for the streaming service. Hopefully, we can add one more success to the list with the new The Last of Us show heading to HBO. The series will be based on the hit Sony Playstation action game series from developer Naughty Dog.
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Although we hope the show turns out well, it’s way too early to say for sure. So who is creating the show, who will star in the show’s main roles of Joel and Ellie? Here’s everything we know so far about The Last of Us HBO show. Keep in mind that the series will also appear on the HBO Max streaming service after it airs on the HBO cable channel. You can sign up for the service at the link below.
What is The Last of Us, anyway?
The Last of Us was first released for the Sony PlayStation 3 console in 2013 by developer Naughty Dog. While it has a multiplayer mode, the game is best known for its single-player narrative campaign. The third-person action-adventure game centers on the character of Joel as he tries to stay alive in a world where the few remaining humans are also fighting to survive. He’s hired by a group known as the Fireflies to smuggle a young girl named Ellie to another group. It’s revealed soon afterward that Ellie is infected with the fungus, but she is unaffected by it, meaning she could be the source for a possible cure.
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The game was a huge critical and sales success and was remastered and re-released for the PlayStation 4 console in 2014. Naughty Dog released a sequel, the single-player only The Last of Us Part II, for the Playstation 4 in 2020. It also was a big sales hit and got solid reviews as well.
Who is making The Last of US HBO TV show?
Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann, who served as the creative director for both games in The Last of Us series, will be the co-writer for the HBO series. The other co-writer will be Craig Mazin, best known as the creator and writer for HBO’s hit 2019 mini-series Chernobyl. Both will also serve as executive producers, along with Carolyn Strauss, who previously served in that same role on HBO’s fantasy hit Game of Thrones. Kantemir Balagov, a Russian director best known for his film Beanpole, is directing the pilot episode of the show. Other directors who will handle episodes of the series will include Jasmila Žbanić and Ali Abbasi.
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Who will play Joel and Ellie? (Hint: Both were in Game of Thrones)
For the lead character of Joel, the series has hired Pedro Pascal, who is currently one of the busiest actors around. He first gained major fame a few years ago playing Oberyn Martell on the fourth season of Game of Thrones (where he had a pretty spectacular death scene). Since then he has starred in movies like Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Equalizer 2, and Wonder Woman 1984. On TV he starred on the popular Netflix series Narcos, before landing the title role in the hit Star Wars-themed Disney Plus series The Mandalorian.
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Deadline reports that Pascal’s role on The Last of Us HBO series is his first priority, but he could still participate in The Mandalorian’s upcoming third season due to his character not removing his helmet most of the time.
The role of Ellie has also been claimed by a former Game of Thrones cast member. Bella Ramsey will play the young woman. On Game of Thrones, Ramsey played the tough-as-nails head of House Mormont, Lady Lyanna Mormont.
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So far, there’s no word on if Troy Baker or Ashley Johnson, who voiced and handled motion capture for the characters of Joel and Ellie in the games, will have any roles in the TV series.
Other characters and actors
Gabriel Luna has been cast in the role of Joel’s brother Tommy. Luna is best known for playing Ghost Rider in a number of episodes of the TV show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In addition, he played the Rev-9 Terminator in the most recent film in that sci-fi franchise, Terminator: Dark Fate.
In addition, Merle Dandridge, who voiced the character of Marlene, the head of the Fireflies in both of The Last of Us video games, will reprise that same role for The Last Of Us HBO series. Another voice actor from the games, Jeffrey Pierce (Tommy) will also appear in the series. However, he will play a different character in the show. Pierce will play the role of Perry, a rebel soldier who lives in the series’ quarantine zone.
Other cast members will include Nico Parker, who will play Joel’s daughter Sarah, along with Murray Bartlett and Con O’Neil as survivalists Frank and Bill, respectively.
When will The Last of Us HBO series premiere?
The series started filming in early July 2021. Gabriel Luna recently posted on his Instagram account a picture of himself, Pedro Pascal, and Nico Parker getting ready for production in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. That means the series could begin on HBO sometime in 2022.
How much will the series cost to produce?
While HBO has yet to reveal a budget for The Last Of Us, it looks like the series could be one of its most expensive shows ever. In an interview with CTV News, IATSE 212 President Damian Petti (the head of one of the production’s union groups) stated, “This project well exceeds the eight figure per episode mark.” Since the first season will have 10 episodes, it’s looking like it will have a total budget of over $100 million.
That’s all we know about The Last of US HBO show. We will update this article when we learn more about the series.