Video game fans have been eagerly awaiting a live-action adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us pretty much since that original game hit shelves in 2013. Thankfully, it’s now becoming a reality, as HBO is developing a TV series. One of the most exciting things about the project is that it has enlisted the services of Neil Druckmann, who wrote and directed the two games in the franchise. On the upcoming series, he serves as creator, writer, director and executive producer. Now, it would seem that he’s wrapped his work on the Pedro Pascal-led production, and he took to social media to celebrate.
The post-apocalyptic series has been filming in Calgary, Alberta since July and has apparently been going strong ever since. This past weekend, Neil Druckmann posted a sweet message on Twitter to mark the end of his time on set. While expressing his thanks, he also shared a snapshot of a cool memento from his time working on the show. Check it out down below:
Alas… my time in Canada has come to an end. To the best tv crew in the world, thank you for your incredible work, your passion, and for making me feel so welcome! I will miss you terribly!Excited to return to Naughty Dog (and some warmer weather!) ♥️ 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/A9hsy7gPpANovember 7, 2021
At this point, I can’t help but marvel at the creative clapboards that directors share on social media once they’ve finished a project. But my admiration of the production tool aside, this is a very lovely post from the video game veteran. I think I speak for a number of fans when I say I’m looking forward to seeing what he brings to the project. Though few details have been revealed at this point, what’s been shown so far has been impressive. HBO released the first still from the series back in September, and it honestly looked like it could've been ripped directly from the game.
Neil Druckmann seems to be taking a cerebral approach to this creative endeavor. The aforementioned photo indicated that he and co-creator Craig Mazin are maintaining the visual aesthetic of the games. However, Druckmann previously explained that the show will “deviate” in a few ways, given that the franchise is now playing in a different medium. He did still mention, though, that the TV series runs “pretty close” to the source material. Likewise, Mazin stated that his collaborator’s involvement would ensure that the production won’t “undo” the original story.
The Last of Us is truly shaping up to be one of HBO’s biggest productions yet. According to reports, the project “well exceeds the eight figure per episode mark.” In other words, we’re talking at least $10 million per installment, and I’m sweating just thinking about all of that cash. This would put the project on par with the premium cable channel’s fantasy powerhouse Game of Thrones. Along with high-end production values, the show has also recruited some skilled stars to bring the video game characters to life.
As mentioned, The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal leads and is playing the role of the grizzled Joel. He’ll be accompanied by Game of Thrones alum Bella Ramsey, who’s taking on the role of the witty and tough Ellie. Additionally, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. alum Gabriel Luna will play Tommy, the younger (and less jaded) brother of Pascal’s character. Other cast members include Merle Dandridge, Anna Torv and Jeffrey Pierce, who actually played Tommy in the 2013 game.
There’s still plenty of work to be done on the video game adaptation, as the show isn’t set to wrap production entirely until June 2022. Neil Druckmann’s post indicates that things are moving right along, though. And given the talent behind it, I’d imagine their efforts won’t be in vain.
A release date hasn’t been announced for The Last of Us just yet, but it’s currently scheduled to arrive on HBO (and more than likely HBO Max as well) sometime in 2022.
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