Craig Mazin Extends His Deal With HBO By Three Years

Craig Mazin has extended his deal with HBO and HBO Max, with The Last of Us’ producer sticking around for another three years, first reported by The Hollywood Reporter

Mazin, who scooped Emmys for his work on Chernobyl, is currently collaborating with game director Neil Druckmann on the TV adaptation for The Last of Us. This new deal may indicate that the release date to Naughty Dog’s adaptation may not see the light of day for some time, and it’s a real possibility if the COVID-19 pandemic is factored in. 

Aside from tidbits of information, including Johan Renck’s replacement for the series pilot, a teaser trailer of the Firefly logo backed to Gustavo Santaolalla’s epic score, HBO ordering a full series, and Mazin promising an update very recently, little else is really known about the series. 

Kantemir Balagov, best known for Closeness (2017) and 2019’s Beanpole, will be directing the series pilot after Johan Renck was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. In response to the announcement, Druckmann described Balagov as “a brilliant director who shares our love for Joel and Ellie’s journey.” Balagov is a two-time FIPRESCI Prize winner for Closeness and Beanpole

Following the announcement of a full series, the Exec Vice President of HBO Programming, Francesca Orsi described Mazin and Druckmann as “visionaries in a league of their own,”

The Last of Us will cover the events from the first game, as Joel smuggles an immune 14 year old Ellie to a military group, The Fireflies, in a bid to create a vaccine for the Cordyceps virus, across what remains of a pandemic-ridden USA. 

In other Naughty Dog news, the long-awaited Uncharted film adaptation was delayed again, this time until February 11, 2022. After it wrapped filming last October, the adaptation starring Tom Holland was initially slated for release on July 16, 2021.

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