The wildly popular videogame franchise The Last Of Us is getting its own HBO series, but its creator has revealed why the planned movie never took off.
The Last Of Us is a video game opus, the type of experience that stays with you long after you play it and an irrefutable example that you can hold up to people who claim that videogames can’t be art. The post-apocalyptic action game released in 2013 and plans for a movie were quickly set into motion to capitalise on its huge success. However, the film never materialised and the series’ creator, Neil Druckmann, who was also the writer on the film project (alongside Sam Raimi who was set to produce) has revealed why.
“When I worked on the movie version, a lot of the thinking and notes were like ‘how do we make it bigger? How do we make the set pieces bigger?” recalls Druckmann. “I think that’s ultimately why the movie wasn’t made.”
With Druckmann resisting such overtures, the film project became stuck in development hell for years, eventually morphing into a series for HBO, where Druckmann feels he has been able to establish the tone that he always wanted. “Our approach for The Last Of Us was ‘let’s make it as an indie film. Let’s approach it as an indie film team, the way it’s shot, the way how small and intimate it feels. And with the show we get to lean into that even more because we don’t have to have as many action sequences as we do in the game'”.
The series is currently in development and set to shoot in Canada this summer, with Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsay starring as Joel and Ellie respectively.
A long-form series does feel like a better fit for The Last of Us, but there’s a little part of us that will always wonder what an adaptation with Druckmann’s writing and Sam Raimi’s oversight would have looked like.
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