HBO’s The Last of US TV series is ramping up with casting announcements and story details. Here’s what we know about the video game adaptation.
HBO’s The Last of Us TV series is actively being filmed with much of the cast already announced and behind-the-scenes images released. The show will adapt the popular post-apocalyptic video game series from Naughty Dog and Sony and, if successful, is expected to follow up with another season that tells the story of The Last of Us Part II. Production on HBO’s The Last of Us is being headed up by Craig Mazin, creator of the acclaimed miniseries Chernobyl, and Neil Druckmann, writer and director of The Last of Us games. HBO veteran Carolyn Strauss is also involved on the production side.
The Last of Us, like The Walking Dead, is a zombie apocalypse: in the video game, society collapsed from a zombie-like outbreak. The Cordyceps Brain Infection, a mutated variant of the Cordyceps fungus, spreads quickly through the population, killing the infected or turning them into violent, mindless creatures. As the infection can be spread via airborne spores as well as bites, survivors often wear gas masks to protect themselves in certain situations.
The history of live-action video game adaptations is questionable, to say the least, but The Last of Us TV series seems to be on the right track at HBO. Bringing in Druckmann, the original mastermind behind the story, is a brilliant move, and Mazin’s past work on Chernobyl should translate well into Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic world of danger, betrayal, and survival.
The Last Of Us Cast
The original The Last of Us video game primarily follows two survivors, Joel and Ellie, as they struggle to cross the United States in search of a cure for the cordyceps infection. The HBO adaptation is taking the same approach with the two protagonists the first to be cast. Pedro Pascal will play Joel on The Last of Us TV show, taking on the role of the troubled smuggler unwillingly pulled into trying to save the world. Ellie will be played by Bella Ramsey who, like Pascal, also appeared in HBO’s Game of Thrones, where Pascal played Oberyn Martell and Ramsey played Lyanna Mormont.
While most of the cast has been announced at this point, some key roles stand out. Tess, Joel’s smuggling partner, will be played by Mindhunter‘s Anna Torv. Tommy will be played by Gabriel Luna, and Bill was recently recast to be played by Nick Offerman after his previous actor, Con O’Neill, had to back out due to scheduling conflicts. In an unusual but appreciated move Merle Dandridge will reprise the role she played in the video game for the live-action adaptation of The Last of Us as the leader of the Fireflies, Marlene. Many other casting announcements have been made that suggest that HBO’s The Last of Us will play up the LGBTQ+ representation of the original video game and several actors will be playing roles that didn’t appear in the game, including Jeffery Pierce, who originally voiced Tommy but will play a new character called Perry in the HBO adaptation.
The Last Of Us Release Date Info
As of now, no official release date has been announced for HBO’s The Last of Us TV series. However, it is likely that the show will release sometime in mid-to-late 2022. Several episodes have completed production as of December 2021. The series will tell the full story of the first The Last of Us video game and as that spans all four seasons of a single year, production is being spread out to maintain that feel as naturally as possible. While a lot of production work has already been completed, the December 2021 recasting of Bill does demonstrate that there is still a good bit of work left to do.
The Last Of Us Story Details
The story in The Last of Us TV series will focus on and adapt the full events of the first game, telling the story of how Joel and Ellie meet and their original journey together. Mazin and Druckmann have said that the show could expand on the game’s original story content, but only in ways meant to flesh out what’s already there. That means nothing from the games will be radically undone or de-canonized, but that there is room for more details that didn’t fit in the games. Some of the expansion of the world of The Last of Us can be seen in the new characters invented for the show; however, some key characters are still missing from the cast list which suggests that those parts of the story might play a more minor role or be removed entirely. Most notable of these missing characters from the video game are Maria, Tommy’s wife, and Henry and Sam, two survivors that Ellie and Joel meet on their travels and play a huge part in defining how Ellie understands the world outside the quarantine zone.
The producers have also said that material from The Last of Us Part II could be included in the HBO show, but that would likely manifest in minor ways. The odds point to a series primarily focused on the first game, with late seasons teasing the second installment in relatively small ways, potentially with an introduction of a young Abby at the Firefly compound. With luck HBO’s The Last of Us series will be satisfying for new and old fans alike.
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