According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Johan Renck has stepped down from directing the pilot for The Last Of Us TV adaptation. Due to scheduling conflicts, the Chernobyl and Breaking Bad director will be replaced by Russian director Kantemir Balagov, best known for Closeness (2017) and 2019’s Beanpole.

Neil Druckmann, the creative director behind The Last Of Us and The Last Of Us Part II hailed Balagov in a social media post as “a brilliant director who shares our love for Joel and Ellie’s journey. Stoked that he’s joining the TloU family.”

Closeness received a positive reception during its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017, winning Balagov a FIPRESCI Prize in the Un Certain Regard competition.

Two years later, Balagov returned to Cannes in 2019 and scooped the award for Best Director for his WWII film Beanpole, set after the Siege of Leningrad, as well as a second FIPRESCI Prize.

So far, we know that HBO recently ordered a full series for the TV series, which will be made for both “die-hard fans and newcomers”. 

The series will cover the events of the first game and will be a co-production between Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Word Games, and Naughty Dog.

As reported earlier this week, Craig Mazin teased that an update for The Last Of Us TV series would be coming “soon enough”. Mazin added that there were various other projects in development too, including an untitled Pirates of the Caribbean project.

The Last of Us is based on the events from the first game, charting a treacherous journey across the USA 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.