We are already well aware that Craig Mazin did quite well with his look at the Chernobyl nuclear accident and its aftermath. His next stint for HBO takes a look at another dangerous threat when he brings the PlayStation videogame The Last of Us to life! And the icing on the cake is the satisfaction that it will be handled perfectly as the quality programming HBO is known for because Neil Druckmann is also at the helm. He is the concept designer for the video game storyline. He knows his story and how it worked as an engrossing and popular game and his story and Mazin abilities could, and should, turn this into an epic HBO series.
If you are not familiar with the source material, it is a survival story in a post-apocalyptic age due to a fungal disease that ravages the population. In September 2013, an outbreak of mutant Cordyceps fungus takes over the United States, transforming its human hosts into aggressive creatures known as the Infected. In the suburbs of Austin, Texas, Joel flees
the chaos with his brother Tommy and daughter Sarah. As they flee, Sarah is shot by a soldier and dies in Joel’s arms. Twenty years later, civilization has been decimated by the infection. Survivors live in heavily policed quarantine zones, independent settlements, and nomadic groups. Joel works as a smuggler with his partner Tess in the quarantine zone in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts. They hunt down Robert, a black-market dealer, to recover a stolen weapons cache. Before Tess kills him, Robert reveals that he traded the cache with the Fireflies, a rebel militia opposing the quarantine zone authorities. The leader of the Fireflies, promises to double their cache in return for smuggling a teenage girl, Ellie to a distant Fireflies facility outside the quarantine zone. Ellie is infected. Full infection normally occurs in under two days, but Ellie claims she was infected three weeks earlier and that her immunity may lead to a cure. The trio makes their way to their destination through hordes of the infected, And the game takes off.
And hopefully, as a series, it takes off as well. HBO’s announcement looks promising.
What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival. The HBO series will cover the events of the original game, which was written by Druckmann, with the possibility of additional content based on the forthcoming game sequel, “The Last of Us Part II,” which will release on May 29, 2020.
“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to partner with Craig, Neil, Carolyn and the teams at Sony, Naughty Dog and PlayStation to bring the virtual world of this acclaimed game to life,” said Casey Bloys.
“Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and ‘The Last of Us’ is his magnum opus,” said Craig Mazin. “Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I’m so honored to do it in partnership with Neil.”
“From the first time I sat down to talk with Craig I was equally blown away by his approach to narrative and his love and deep understanding of ‘The Last of Us,’” said Neil Druckmann. “With ‘Chernobyl,’ Craig and HBO created a tense, harrowing, emotional masterpiece. I couldn’t think of better partners to bring the story of ‘The Last of Us’ to life as a television show. I’m beyond excited to collaborate with them.”
Druckmann and Mazin (pictured) will write and executive produce; Carolyn Strauss (Emmy-winner for HBO’s GAME OF THRONES and CHERNOBYL) also executive produces along with Evan Wells (President of Naughty Dog). The project is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television and in association with PlayStation Productions. THE LAST OF US is the first television series from PlayStation Productions.
Battles with infected folks have, of course, happened before, (Walking Dead, anyone?), on TV but this strong take gets the HBO treatment. Are you excited for THE LAST OF US becoming an HBO series?
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