Neil Druckmann says HBO’s adaptation of The Last Of Us will be “the best, most authentic game adaptation” for television. Speaking to The New Yorker, Druckmann said: “adaptations haven’t worked because the source material is not strong enough. Sometimes they haven’t worked because the people making it don’t understand the source material.”
“I cheated—I just took the one with the best story,” Craig Mazin explained, who joined Druckmann to develop The Last Of Us into a nine-part series. The Chernobyl creator said The Last Of Us “was always a story where the story comes first.”
“Like, I love Assassin’s Creed,” Mazin continued. “But when they announced that they were gonna make it as a movie I was, like, I don’t know how! Because the joy of it is the gameplay. The story is impenetrable.”
The article explores past failed video game adaptations, including the previously mentioned Assassin’s Creed film, Doom, and most recently, the silver screen adaptation of Naughty Dog’s other big franchise, Uncharted.
Starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, the film received a mixed review from FlickLuster earlier in the year. While Druckmann admitted he’d relinquished some creative control on the Uncharted film, he adds: “If a bad version of The Last of Us comes out, it will crush me.”
According to an official synopsis from HBO, The Last Of Us “takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed” and features Joel, described as “a hardened survivor… hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.”
The Last Of Us premieres on HBO from Jan. 15, 2023. For more The Last Of Us content, you can take a look at our review for The Last Of Us Part I.