The Last of Us HBO series officially goes into production

Naughty Dog’s acclaimed survival adventure is one step closer to becoming a premium cable TV series.

The Last of Us story has been among the most gripping to hit video games in the last decade. It’s one that felt like it would fit in well with the world of cable television. That now looks to be a step closer to reality. On Friday, HBO officially picked up The Last of Us and will begin production on the drama adaptation alongside Sony Pictures TV, PlayStation Productions, Word Games, and Naughty Dog. The series will be written by Chernobyl scribe Craig Mazin and the game’s writer/creative director Neil Druckmann.

Today’s news comes from The Hollywood Reporter. The outlet first brought news of a Last of Us series to light back on March 5, 2020. The show’s architects will include Mazin, Druckman, Naughty Dog President Evan Wells, and Chernobyl/Game of Thrones producer Carolyn Struass. The project first came together partly out of Mazin’s fandom for The Last of Us franchise.

There are a lot of unknowns regarding this HBO adaptation of Naughty Dog’s acclaimed survival adventure. It will likely follow the story of the original game, which sees a zombie-like apocalypse destroy modern civilization. Joel has been surviving the apocalypse for 20 years and is eventually hired to smuggle a girl named Ellie out of a quarantine zone. While surviving against the various infected humans proves to be harrowing enough on its own, Joel and Ellie’s greater danger quickly proves to be other human survivors. Whether the HBO series will adapt the game’s story note-for-note or go into the unexplored 20-year interim remains to be seen.

The other major unknown is when the series would be ready to air. There’s little chance it could be ready for a 2021 premiere given that the production team would still need to recruit actors. More importantly, the team would have to navigate the challenges of filming during the COVID-19 pandemic, which seems to be ramping up once again.

As consumers of pop culture, Shacknews will keep an eye on this story. We’ll report on the latest as it breaks.