The Last of Us was one of the best and most popular games of 2013. So when it was announced that Sony was adapting this world of zombies for the big screen, it understandably sent gamers into a tizzy. While you should still get excited for its grand debut, be warned that it won’t stick to the story line exactly. In fact, some major changes are coming to differentiate the movie from the game.
The Last of Us game director Neil Druckmann is working on the film version’s script, and he recently sat down with GameSpot to dish a little bit on what he and Sony are coming up with. When asked if the movie would remain faithful to its roots, he said:
"Pretty faithful to the game. There are some big changes, but the tone and what the story's trying to say is pretty faithful to the game."
Featuring a "ruthless survivor" named Joel and a 14-year-old girl named Ellie, the game sees the two traveling in between quarantine zones for the girl’s own protection. Along the way, the two form an unlikely bond as they encounter different factions of survivors attempting to survive the infected — and, of course, zombies. While the first bit of Druckmann’s statement should please the fans (i.e. the "pretty faithful" adaptation part), we’re left wondering what these big changes could mean. Some likely predictions are the circumstances of Joel and Ellie’s first meeting, the quarantine zones, and the specifics of their journey across a pandemic-infected America. That being said, just watching the trailer for the game you can tell how visceral and cinematic in scope The Last of Us is, and that plenty of material should just directly translate.
According to Druckmann, the script is shaping up "really well," which is an encouraging sign. Not only that, but he’s even even finished a second draft and had a table read with a few actors. While he didn’t specify whether Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams was one of these potential stars, she is reportedly the front-runner for the lead role. Druckmann dropped her name while discussing the movie during a panel at Comic-Con a while back, and the actress has been professing her love for the property on Twitter ever since. The last we heard from Williams, she said she had met with Druckmann and the film’s producer Sam Raimi, and both wanted her to do the movie. Though at the time she said "it’s looking like, ‘Yes,’" she also acknowledged that it was still so early on in the process.
Sony still hasn’t revealed a director for The Last of Us, nor has it set an official release date or any casting. Williams is the closest thing we have to a reference, though the film would have to work around her intense filming schedule for Game of Thrones. Lord knows HBO and George R.R. Martin fans would be quite upset if this movie were to somehow affect it in any way.