The Last of Us: Neil Druckmann Talks HBO Adaptation

HBO’s upcoming adaptation of the popular Playstation and Naughty Dog series, The Last of Us, has been gaining lots of momentum as the series is getting ready to begin production. Last month, Deadline Hollywood was the first to break the news on who would play both Joel and Ellie in live-action. It was announced that The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal landed the role of Joel Miller and Game of Thrones alum Bella Ramsey will be playing Ellie. The series will be created by Chernoboyl’s Craig Mazin. Carolyn Strauss and Neil Druckmann, the game’s original director, will also be involved with the project as executive producers.

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Speaking of Druckmann, IGN was able to chat with him on adapting the game to the small screen. In the interview, Druckmann mentions that:

“We talked at length [that season 1 of the show is going to be [the first game],” Druckmann exclaims, noting that for him and Mazin, “the philosophical underpinnings of the story” were the essential thing to get right about the adaptation. “As far as the superficial things, like should [a character] wear the same plaid shirt or the same red shirt? They might or might not appear in it, that’s way less important to us than getting the core of who these people are and the core of their journey.”

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Druckmann doesn’t exactly reveal any plans on HBO’s part but he does end up saying that:

“Things sometimes stay pretty close. It’s funny to see my dialogue there from the games in HBO scripts. And sometimes they deviate greatly to much better effect because we are dealing with a different medium,” he said.

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Druckmann continues on his last comments:

“For example, in the game, there’s so much action you have to have to train the player about mechanics. You have to have more violence and more spectacle to some degree than you would need on a TV show because you don’t need to train people on how to use a gun. So that’s something that’s been really different, and HBO’s been great in pushing us to move away from hardcore action and focus more on the drama of the character. Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can’t wait for people to see them.”

Beyond that, Druckmann finishes his interview by mentioning his excitement of the show’s stars, Pascal and Ramsey, by saying he “can’t wait for people to see what we saw in the people we’ve brought together,”. Lastly, he teases his excitement for the live-action Clickers by saying:

“I just saw the first prosthetic test for the Clicker and it’s awesome. It’s so rad to see this thing come to physical life,” he said.

Do Druckmann’s comments get you excited for HBO’s take on the game? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by Devin Colson

I’m a huge geek when it comes to things like Marvel/DC, Star Wars, anime, etc. Bit of a movie buff. Disney kid at heart.