From film to TV. After spending years in development hell, the live-action adaptation of the hit survival horror video game The Last of Us is now in the works at HBO as a series, with Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin and The Last of Us co-director and writer Neil Druckmann set to script it together. Mazin and Druckmann will also serve as executive producers on The Last of Us HBO series, alongside former HBO president Carolyn Strauss, and The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog president Evan Wells. The Last of Us series will be produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with PlayStation Productions, making it the first TV show from the latter.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to bring word of the new development on The Last of Us’ on-screen adaptation, accompanied by statements from everyone involved that made it official. Per THR, The Last of Us HBO series “will cover the events of the original game, […] with the possibility of additional content based on” The Last of Us Part II, a sequel that takes place five years after the events of the original. Druckmann is also a co-director and co-writer on The Last of Us Part II, which releases May 29 on the PS4 worldwide.
Sony had first announced a film adaptation of The Last of Us in March 2014, with Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi as producer, and Druckmann as writer. Though he submitted two drafts of the script, the project stalled shortly after. Druckmann admitted in April 2016 that it had fallen into development hell, and Raimi said in November 2016 that it was over a disagreement Sony had with Druckmann. Hopefully, that won’t happen again with the HBO series.
“Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus,” Mazin said in a prepared statement. “Getting a chance to adapt this breath-taking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I’m so honoured 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 said. “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. I’m beyond excited to collaborate with them.”