Neil Druckmann has revealed some details regarding the upcoming HBO adaptation of critically acclaimed video game, The Last of Us, including the detail that the first season of the series will “deviate greatly” from the source material. But fear not, as these deviations will only occur when necessary, with Druckmann also revealing that the show will also lift lines of dialogue directly from the game.
“Things sometimes stay pretty close. It’s funny to see my dialogue there from the games in HBO scripts. And sometimes they deviate greatly to much better effect because we are dealing with a different medium.”
While the adaptation will move away from the games at some points, Druckmann has assured fans that The Last of Us will still adhere to what’s important about the story and characters. “We talked at length [that season 1 of the show is going to be [the first game],” Druckmann explained, noting that for him and fellow writer and producer Craig Mazin, “the philosophical underpinnings of the story” were the essential thing to get right about the adaptation. “As far as the superficial things, like should [a character] wear the same plaid shirt or the same red shirt? They might or might not appear in it, that’s way less important to us than getting the core of who these people are and the core of their journey.” No doubt this is sure to enrage the plaid shirt enthusiasts.
Developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, The Last of Us finds players as Joel, a smuggler tasked with escorting a teenage girl, Ellie, across a post-apocalyptic United States. Players must use firearms and improvised weapons, as well as stealth and other tactics, in order to defend themselves against hostile humans and cannibalistic creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus that has spread across the nation.
The Last of Us is now considered to be one of the most critically acclaimed video games of all time, with critics praising its in-depth narrative and characterization, elements that should jump easily from the pixels of a video game into a live action serial adaptation.
Mazin, who is best known for his exemplary work on HBO series Chernobyl, has also assured fans in the past that the series will honor the lore of the games instead of attempting to reconfigure them. “I think fans of something worry that, when the property gets licensed to someone else, those people don’t really understand it, or are going to change it,” he said. “In this case, I’m doing it with the guy who did it [Druckmann], and so the changes that we’re making are designed to fill things out and expand, not to undo, but rather to enhance.”
Video game adaptations are so rarely any good that it’s hard not to worry about how such a beloved franchise as The Last of Us will be handled, a worry that is sure to be exacerbated by the idea of the show deviating from the source material. But, with Druckmann and Mazin on board, as well as Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie, The Last of Us certainly has the potential to live up to live up to the game’s legacy. This comes to us from IGN.