HBO’s adaptation of Naughty Dog’s celebrated video game franchise The Last of Us will release no sooner than 2023. The Last of Us was released on PlayStation 3 in 2013 and became an instant classic. Less than a year later, there were already talks of a film or tv adaptation with big names like Sam Raimi attached to produce. Following a period of developmental hell, the idea of a feature film was abandoned and, in 2020, HBO announced plans for a series. Filming for Naughty Dog, PlayStation Productions, and HBO’s The Last of Us began in Calgary, Alberta on July 12, 2021, and is projected to wrap in June of 2022.

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Coming from Chernobyl showrunner Craig Mazin and Co-president of Naughty Dog/The Last of Us creator Neil Druckmann, HBO’s series will adapt the events of the first game. The Last of Us takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed by the deadly Cordyceps infection. Joel (Pedro Pascal), a hardened smuggler living in the post-apocalyptic U.S., is hired to escort a teenager, Ellie (Bella Ramsey), across the country for a militia group known as the Fireflies. The series also stars Nico Parker as Joel’s daughter, Sarah, Gabriel Luna as his brother, Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess, Nick Offerman as Bill, Jeffrey Pierce, Murray Bartlett, and Merle Dandridge, who reprises her role as the games’ Firefly leader Marlene.

In a recent interview with Deadline, HBO and HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys said the adaptation won’t be on air in 2022. HBO has yet to set a premiere date for the series, but many hoped The Last of Us would premiere late this year. Unfortunately, fans of the franchise are going to have to wait a little longer. Read the quote below:

“It’s not going to air in 2022, they are still shooting in Canada. I imagine you will see it in 23. I have seen some early episodes and I’m very excited,” said Bloys. “Craig did Chernobyl for us; he is a fantastic writer and director. What I’ve seen looks amazing so I’m excited for it but it will not be in 22.”

This news comes as a disappointment, but the wait should be worth it. Based upon previously leaked/released photos and video, HBO’s The Last of Us looks to be a faithful adaptation, recreating the game’s most iconic moments and locations while introducing new characters and fleshing out familiar storylines. Fans have gotten a look at areas in Alberta that have been transformed into Austin, Texas, during the Cordyceps outbreak; the Boston Quarantine Zone; and a post-apocalyptic Jackson, Wyoming—all of which look and feel like the video game come to life. On top of that, Gustavo Santaolalla, who composed The Last of Us’ original score, is also working on the series.

The Last of Us is one of the most expensive shows currently being filmed in Canada. The 10-episode series, which is being executive produced by Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones), is being hyped as HBO’s next juggernaut. Historically, video game adaptations don’t generally pan out. The recent take on Naughty Dog’s Uncharted, for example, is currently being trashed by critics. Hopefully, The Last of US’ massive budget, stacked cast, and more-than-capable creative team help it rise above the rest in 2023.

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Source: Deadline

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