The show is based on the hit PlayStation video game that deals with the crippling effects of a zombie apocalypse that turns humans brain-dead and into fungus monsters that drastically spread the disease throughout the United States.
Though “The Last of Us” is looking to change things up, the repeated failures of video-game adaptations were on the minds of the creators and cast.
“The hardest part of getting it right is all of it, is you have to get by every little thing. You have to get the casting right, the scripting right, the production design, the music, the editing, the visual effects. All of it. That is why showrunning is such a crazy job. Every tiny detail, you have to have your eyes on. That’s the joy of it for me,” showrunner Craig Mazin told Variety.
Pedro Pascal, also known for his work in “The Mandalorian,” plays Joel, a man who helps a teenage girl named Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, find a cure 20 years after society falls to the virus.
“You get really lucky when the scripts are amazing. Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, the creator of the video game, composed these solid and amazing scripts, which does 90% of the work or more — 98% of the work, and the other 2% is for you to try not to fuck up something that is so good,” Pascal said.
Co-showrunner and creator of the original game, Neil Druckmann was quick to add why it was best that “The Last of Us” was better suited as a series over a film. “The short answer is that the story is too long. We tried to make it into a movie, and it did not work because what is usually a 15-hour experience and compressing it down into two hours, it didn’t work and there is always something else that is popping out I felt was important to the story. This time around it allowed us to take our time and have a slow burn with the relationship between Joel and Ellie, over a year-long journey that could have only been adapted into a TV show.”
“The Last of Us” premieres on HBO on Jan. 15