The upcoming drama series will be executive produced by the talents behind some of HBO’s most successful projects, as well as the minds behind the video game franchise. Craig Mazin (“Chernobyl”) and Carolyn Strauss (“Chernobyl,” “Game of Thrones”) will executive produce alongside Neil Druckmann (“The Last of Us” and “Uncharted” video game franchises), Evan Wells (Naughty Dog, the game’s development company) and PlayStation Productions’ Asad Qizlibash and Carter Swan.
As for casting, HBO alum Bella Ramsey will portray Ellie, one of the two main characters in the original video game. Ramsey previously starred as Lyanna Mormont in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “Wonder Woman 1984”) will portray Joel in the show.
The series is written by Mazin and Druckmann, and is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television. PlayStation Productions, Word Games, and Naughty Dog produce. “Beanpole” director Kantemir Balagov has been tapped to direct the pilot for HBO’s adaptation.
“Craig and Neil are visionaries in a league of their own,” Francesca Orsi, executive vice president, HBO Programming, said in a statement on Friday, November 20. “With them at the helm alongside the incomparable Carolyn Strauss, this series is sure to resonate with both die-hard fans of ‘The Last of Us’ games and newcomers to this genre-defining saga. We’re delighted to partner with Naughty Dog, Word Games, Sony and PlayStation to adapt this epic, powerfully immersive story.”
HBO’s synopsis for the upcoming series indicates that the adaptation will follow the events of the original 2013 video game. The synopsis reads: Twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.
“The Last of Us” video game was a critical and commercial success for Sony and Naughty Dog. The developer’s 2020 sequel, “The Last of Us Part II” was also a commercial success and sold over 4 million copies within its first weekend. Though “The Last of Us Part II” received polarized reviews from critics and fans, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich lauded the game in June and wrote that the sequel improved on the original classic in almost every way.
Other details about the series, including a release date and episode numbers, are still under wraps.