In popular culture, there’s a word for a type of undead creature that movies and television shows tend to avoid, particularly if the subject matter handles the end of the world. The Walking Dead’s substitute for the word was Walker. In Game of Thrones, the White Walkers led the Army of the Dead, and Simon Pegg’s titular Shaun (of Shaun of the Dead) thought the ‘Z’ word sounded ridiculous. 

If these clues aren’t enough to ring a bell, then the word we’re looking for is zombie, and it’s one that the cast and crew on HBO’s The Last Of Us, according to cinematographer Eben Bolter, were not allowed to utter on set, describing it as “a banned word.”

Clicker The Last of Us
This is a clicker, and it’s an Infected – but if you’re on the set of The Last of Us, it’s not a zombie!

“We weren’t allowed to say the Z word on set,” Bolter said in an interview with The Credits. “They were the Infected. We weren’t a zombie show. Of course, there’s tension building and jump scares but the show’s really about our characters; The Infected are an obstacle they have to deal with.” Bolter, whose other work before joining The Last Of Us includes The Girl Before and iBoy, a sci-fi thriller starring Maisie Williams from 2017, said The Last Of Us is “not a cliché zombie movie, it’s not Hollywood backlit where everyone’s close-up is perfect. It’s a world of organic cinematic naturalism, and that’s something I could just feel.”

We have to agree that The Last of Us is certainly made unique by its characters, and not by its zombie-like Infected. If you want to see more of our The Last of Us content, you can check out our episode 4 review right here.

Are you keeping up with The Last Of Us? If so, let us know your thoughts on the series so far in the comments below, and stay tuned with GameLuster for more gaming news.

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