Writer/executive producer Craig Mazin created one of the TV events of the year in 2019 with Chernobyl. He’s now attached to a project that could be as impressive: he’ll work on an adaptation of hit video game The Last Of Us for HBO.
Neil Druckmann, creative director and writer of the game, will work alongside Mazin on its development into a series. Launched in 2013 by company Naughty Dog, The Last Of Us is set in a post-apocalyptic world and focuses on smuggler Joel, and Ellie, who may just be the key to a cure for the pandemic that has wrecked the planet.
When Joel is hired to smuggle Ellie out of an oppressive quarantine zone, he thinks it’ll be a quick job and an easy payday. But it soon become a brutal journey across the US and a struggle for survival. The show – which is intending a longer run than the limited, self-contained Chernobyl – will cover the events of the first game, with the option to also tackle the sequel, due out in May.
“Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last Of Us is his magnum opus,” says Mazin, who is a fan of the game. “Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I’m so honored to do it in partnership with Neil.”
“From the first time I sat down to talk with Craig I was equally blown away by his approach to narrative and his love and deep understanding of The Last of Us,” Druckmann enthuses in a statement. “With Chernobyl, Craig and HBO created a tense, harrowing, emotional masterpiece. I couldn’t think of better partners to bring the story of The Last of Us to life as a television show.”
The game had previously been in development as a movie, with Sam Raimi attached at one point and Maisie Williams rumoured to star as Ellie. That has obviously now been superseded by the new show version, which offers more chance to explore the story in depth.