HBO is creating a TV show based on the action-adventure video game The Last of Us. The post-apocalyptic series will involve characters and storylines from the video game, developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2013. The Last Of Us was released on PlayStation 3 and instantly became one of the most popular video games of all time. Now, HBO is hoping to capitalize on the game’s success with the highly-anticipated television adaptation. Here’s everything you need to know about HBO’s The Last Of Us, including the premiere date and the cast.
Where & When Can I Watch ‘The Last Of Us’ TV Series?
The Last Of Us is expected to premiere in early 2023. The show will air on HBO and will also be available to stream on HBO Max. It will not be available on Netflix. Initially, the show was supposed to start in 2022, but then HBO Programming Chief Casey Bloys clarified that it would be shifting to 2023. “The Last Of Us is shooting right now in Canada. We haven’t announced an air date yet,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in February 2022. “But it’s not 2022. They’re still shooting in Calgary.”
Craig Mazin, who developed the show alongside Neil Druckmann, revealed on a podcast in July 2021 that the series will consist of ten episodes. Each episode will be about an hour long, Craig said, which means the show’s total run-time will be ten hours long.
The Last Of Us began filming on July 12, 2021 in Canada’s Calgary, Alberta. The cast and crew reportedly had to quarantine for two weeks before entering Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming also took place in Downton Edmonton in October 2021. Production officially wrapped on June 11, 2022.
Who Is The Cast of ‘The Last Of Us’?
- Pedro Pascal as Joel, who is tasked with smuggling a young girl named Ellie out of the post-apocalyptic United States. Pedro filmed the show after the release of the second season of his popular Star Wars series The Mandalorian. He reportedly received several big offers from networks and streamers for different projects, and he ultimately chose The Last of Us. Mahershala Ali and Matthew McConaughey were reportedly in the mix to play Joel. Pedro was officially cast in the lead role in February 2021.
- Bella Ramsey as Ellie, a 14-year-old oprhan who is the key to creating a vaccine that can save the world. Bella is best known for playing Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones. Bella was officially cast as Ellie in February 2021.
- Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Joel’s younger brother and a former soldier. Gabriel is best known for playing Ghost Rider in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. He auditioned for the role of Tommy in March 2021 and got the job the following day.
The supporting cast of The Last Of Us includes Merle Dandridge as Marlene, the head of the resistance movement called the Fireflies. She voiced that role in the video game. Jeffrey Pierce, who voiced Tommy in the video game, is playing Perry, a rebel in quarantine. Anna Torv (Fringe) will star as Tess, Joel’s smuggler partner.
The guest cast includes Nico Parker (Dumbo) as Sarah, Joel’s daughter; Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus) as Frank, a survivalist; Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) as Bill, a survivalist; and Storm Reid (Euphoria) as Riley, an orphaned girl living in post-apocalyptic Boston.
Graham Greene, Elaine Miles, and Rutina Wesley have been cast in undisclosed roles. Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who voice Joel and Ellie, respectively, in the video game, are also set to star in undisclosed roles.
What Can We Expect From The Story?
The HBO series is expected to have a similar base plot to the video game. Joel will be escorting Ellie across the post-apocalyptic country, after the outbreak of a mutant fungus transformed human hosts into aggressive creatures and left most of civilization decimated. According to a THR report from March 2020, the show “will cover the events of the original game,” while the door is open for more “additional content” based on the video game’s sequel, The Last Of Us Part II, which came out in June 2020.
Creator Neil Druckmann told IGN that some of the storyline will “deviate greatly” from the events of the video game. “Some of my favourite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can’t wait for people to see them,” he said. One confirmed change is that the show’s outbreak will take place in 2003, as opposed to the video game where it occurs in 2013.
Lead star Pedro Pascal also teased HBO’s series in an interview with GQ in April 2022. “There’s a very, very creative way of honoring what’s important and also preserving what is iconic to the experience of the video game, and also things that you wouldn’t necessarily expect,” he said. “And then directions that you would expect it to go, and it might not… they’re doing some really smart things, is all I can say. It’s in good hands because they [Craig and Neil] love it so much. So it really is made for the people that love it. And there’s some very intense storytelling for people who might be less familiar.”
A second season of The Last of Us has yet to be ordered by HBO, though that’s expected to happen assuming the first season does well.
Who’s The Creative Team?
Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann are the developers and writers of The Last Of Us TV show. Craig is best known for creating the Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries Chernobyl. Neil helped create and direct The Last Of Us video game. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in June 2020, Neil talked about adapting the game for television.
“With TV you have to figure out how it communicates ideas or tells stories. In removing the interactivity of the story, how do you make it unique for this other medium?” he said. “It’s an interesting challenge, and I think there’s a lot to learn from it.”
Gustavo Santaolalla will compose the score for the HBO series, just like he did for the video game. Kantemir Balagov is directing the first episode of the series. The cinematography team includes Ksenia Sereda, Eben Bolter, Christine A. Maier, and Nadim Carlsen. Executive producers include Craig, Neil, Carolyn Strauss, Rose Lam, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, and Carter Swan.
What’s HBO’s Budget For ‘The Last Of Us’?
HBO’s The Last Of Us reportedly has a budget of $10 million per episode. That comes out to a whopping $100 million spent on the entire first season. It’s apparently the largest television production ever in Canadian history. HollywoodLife will continue to give updates on the show right here.