During the production of HBO’s adaptation of The Last Of Us, an extended director’s cut of the Bill and Frank-centric episode once existed, according to series co-creator Craig Mazin. In an interview with Deadline, Mazin was asked about the creative process behind the third episode, which recently broke viewership records, and revealed an extended cut from director Peter Hoar and editor Tim Good “which was quite long.”

As it turns out, the cut was “almost two hours,” Mazin explained. “So, I was like, oh, that’s probably not good. And I sat down, but I’m like, “OK, I’ll watch the two-hour version of this episode.” And I cried so hard that at one point, I actually said out loud, “Ow.” I mean, it hurt.”

“I cried so hard; it hurt. And I thought,” Well, if these guys can do this to me and I wrote this f**king thing, then I think it might work pretty well on other people” Now, we did work really hard to, but we knew we couldn’t put a two-hour version of this thing out there,” Mazin continued.

The Last of Us Nick Offerman Bill
Our hearts wouldn’t be able to take a two-hour cut of this episode.

The final cut of the episode, which aired on Sunday, ran for an hour and 14 minutes, and spent roughly two-thirds of its runtime establishing a rich, original backstory for Bill and Frank’s characters. If an episode running just shy of seventy-five minutes is enough to leave fans in emotional turmoil, what would a two-hour cut be like?

Speaking about the runtime, Mazin added that HBO were “kind enough to let us go a bit long. And look, I never want to overstay my welcome. I always want to leave people wanting more.” We think the episode earned its length, which you can read about in FlickLuster’s review of Episode 3 here.

Do you think The Last of Us episode 3 could’ve been longer, or was it perfect as is? Let us know in the comments below, and keep your eyes on GameLuster for more gaming news.

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