‘The Last of Us’ Series in the Works at HBO From ‘Chernobyl’ Creator Craig Mazin, Neil Druckmann (Exclusive)
Craig Mazin, the creator of the acclaimed limited series ‘Chernobyl,’ is reteaming with HBO to adapt ‘The Last of Us,’ the massive Sony PlayStation video game franchise.
'The Last of Us' Series in the Works at HBO From 'Chernobyl' Creator Craig Mazin, Neil Druckmann (Exclusive)
MARCH 05, 2020 9:30AM by Borys Kit, Patrick Shanley
Mazin and Druckmann will write and executive produce the adaptation of the Sony PlayStation video game.
Craig Mazin, the creator of the acclaimed limited series Chernobyl, is reteaming with HBO to adapt The Last of Us, the massive Sony PlayStation video game franchise.
In a rare development in the world of video game adaptations, the writer and creative director of the game, Neil Druckmann, is also involved and will work with Mazin to pen and executive produce what is intended to be a series.
Carolyn Strauss will also executive produce along with Evan Wells, the president of Naughty Dog, the Santa Monica-based developer of the game. The project is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television in association with PlayStation Productions. It will be the first television series from PlayStation Productions.
Launched in 2013, Sony and Naughty Dog's The Last of Usgarnered critical praise for its engrossing tale of the postapocalypse, centering on the relationship between Joel, a smuggler in this new world, and Ellie, a teenager who may be key to a cure for the deadly pandemic.
Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle the14-year-old girl out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both 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.
Mazin, who is said to be an avid player of the game, stated, "Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus. 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 Druckmann in a statement. "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."
The Last of Us won numerous "game of the year" awards and went on to sell more than 17 million copies across both its original release on the PlayStation 3 and a remastered version on PlayStation 4.
"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," stated HBO programming president Casey Bloys.
"This is the first of many shows we intend to develop with our friends at PlayStation Productions," said Chris Parnell, co-president of Sony Pictures Television Studios. The Last of Us is a brilliant achievement in storytelling and character development, and we are lucky to have the opportunity to work with this team to adapt it."
Druckmann is a longtime vet of Naughty Dog, starting as a programming intern in 2004. In 2007, he was given the role of game designer on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, the first installment in the action adventure series. In 2013, he created The Last of Us, based on a concept he developed as a student at Carnegie Mellon University.
Mazin's Chernobyl tackled a bleak and complex true-life event and became a must-see show for HBO. The show won an Emmy for outstanding limited series and landed one for Mazin for outstanding writing. Mazin also won a PGA award and a WGA award.
The Last of Us is my favorite game ever, and with the game's director on board as creative, I have very high hopes for this.
Curious who will play Joel and Ellie.