With The Last of Us premiere less than a month away, Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann is opening up about how the HBO series differs from the award-winning video game. The biggest difference? The show starring Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) and Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones) will have significantly less violence, while still ratcheting up the horror. But before fans of the video game get riled up, Druckmann broke down the reason for that decision.
“We need a certain amount of action, or violence, that we could use for mechanics so you could connect with Joel and get into a flow state,” Druckmann told SFX Magazine about the game. “Then you would really feel like you’re connected with this on-screen avatar and you’re seeing the world through his eyes.”
However, when it comes to the passive medium of TV, Druckmann explained that viewers don’t need that immediate jolt of violence to be connected to the characters, and he’s actually thankful for that dynamic:
One of the things that I loved hearing from [co-creator Craig Mazin] and HBO very early on was, ‘Let’s take out all the violence except for the very essential.’ That allowed the violence to have even more impact than in the game, because when you hold on showing the threat and you’re seeing people’s reaction to a threat, that makes it scarier. And when we do reveal the infected and the Clickers, you get to see what brought down humanity and why everyone is so scared.”
The Last of Us premieres January 15, 2023 on HBO.
(Via SFX Magazine)