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HBO’s ‘The Last Of Us’ Adaptation Will Faithfully ‘Expand’ On The Original Game

Gamers are still reflecting on the sprawling story woven by The Last Of Us Part II, which hit the PS4 earlier this summer to much fanfare, but HBO has its own apocalyptic story in the works based on the Naughty Dog classic. And according to the showrunner, it will be even more expansive than the story told in the first game.

For some fans, HBO picking up The Last Of Us as a TV show sounds almost too good to be true. With Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann writing and serving as executive producer, Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin in the same role also gives the prestige TV vehicle some serious experience in a dreary and compelling world.

There are a lot of questions about making the video game that’s more like a Peak TV show into just that, and we won’t know the result until we see it for ourselves. But Mazin did give some clues about what to expect when The Last Of Us finally happens for HBO. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Mazin said the show will “expand” on the plot of the first game, but it won’t “undo” anything that happened in the game itself.

“I think the one anxiety that fans of something have is when the property gets licensed to someone else, those people don’t really understand it, or are going to change it, or make it stupid,” Mazin said, via Den Of Geek. “In this case, I’m doing it with the guy who did it, and so the changes that we’re making are designed to fill things out and expand, not to undo, but rather to enhance.”

One of the obvious benefits about adapting The Last Of Us is getting to work with the one person who has had control over the series from the beginning. Mazin didn’t spoil anything from the original game, but one thing he noted was that, with the TV show, they would be able to include some things the game’s creators couldn’t manage to include, whether because it didn’t fit thematically or simply couldn’t be finished to their satisfaction due to the infamous crunch that comes with meeting deadlines for titles at Naughty Dog and the gaming industry at large. With a TV show and more time to make it happen, the show will inevitably see some different things brought to life:

“Neil, at one point, he’s like, ‘You know, there was one thing we were talking about for a while,’ and then he told me what it was. I was like, ‘Well, that’s going in. You couldn’t stop me from doing that.’ So we’re doing that,” Mazin said. “And there’s quite a few things like that where it’s not like, ‘Oh, we just decided, oh, wouldn’t it be cool if there was one episode where Joel and Ellie get on motorcycles and confront a motorcycle gang?’ That’s not what we do. There’s no episodic nonsense here. This is all pretty much curated. The things that are new and enhancing of the storyline we’re doing are connected in organic, serious ways that fans and newcomers alike will appreciate.”

Video games are a living art of sorts, and part of the experience of The Last Of Us was experiencing the game through its main two characters. Mazin said they don’t quite have an answer to that narratively, and he said that the experience of watching it all as a TV show will be very different. The interview is fascinating, and it seems like he and Druckmann are truly excited about the project. There are certainly a lot of gamers who are there with them.

(Via Den of Geek)