When HBO first announced that it was going to be developing a television series based on The Last of Us game series, many longtime fans were concerned that the television network was going to gut the original source material.
However, it seems as though the series is going in the opposite direction, including more elements of the story that were cut from the original game.
This information was dropped during a recent radio interview with The Last of Us showrunner Craig Mazin, who created the miniseries Chernobyl and will be working alongside game director Neil Druckmann to bring The Last of Us to the small screen.
“Neil at one point, he’s like, ‘You know, there was one thing we were talking about for a while,’ and then he told me what it was,” Mazin said. “I was like, ‘Well, that’s going in. You couldn’t stop me from doing that.’ So we’re doing that. And there’s quite a few things like that where it’s not like, “Oh, we just decided, oh, wouldn’t it be cool if there was one episode where Joel and Ellie get on motorcycles and confront a motorcycle gang?’ That’s not what we do. There’s no episodic nonsense here. This is all pretty much curated. The things that are new and enhancing of the storyline we’re doing are connected in organic, serious ways that fans and newcomers alike will appreciate.”
This confirms that The Last of Us won’t be including any cheesy “filler” episodes, where it’s clear the show is just trying to stretch its run to the agreed upon episode count. Episodic filler episodes that don’t contribute to the overall story of a connected season tend to annoy fans. We live in an era where the modern viewer sees through those tactics.
The fact that originally pitched ideas for the game will finally see the light of day in the television series is really encouraging, and goes to show that including Druckmann as one of the showrunners alongside Mazin was a good call by HBO.
A lot of times, whether it’s comic book writers, book authors, or game developers, the original creator of an intellectual property is left out of the adaptation process altogether in favor of “movie people” or “TV people.”
The best way to get a truly authentic source material approved feel to a show is to include the original creative mind behind the property.
There has been no casting announcements made for The Last of Us series, as of this writing, and no release date set.