After years of trying, acclaimed video game "The Last of Us" is finally getting the TV treatment, courtesy of HBO. Although we expect great things from the network, the show is surrounded by an aura of mystique—which excites us even more, of course.
Here are four things we already know about the upcoming series:
1. The Plot is as Apocalyptic as it Gets
The video game—which was released to much fanfare in 2013—takes place in 2033, after most of humanity is killed off by a fungal infestation. Survivor Joel Miller is hired to smuggle teenager Ellie through a destroyed United States (from Boston to Salt Lake City) to be checked out by doctors who believe her to be the cure to the plague. How of-the-time, of course. Needless to say, the journey takes the two characters face-to-face with all sorts of life-threatening apocalyptic disasters.
Although the basis of the plot will likely remain the same, series writer and co-creator Craig Mazin sat down for an interview with the BBC Sounds' Must Watch webcast this past July and warned fans that the plot will stretch out. "The changes that we're making are designed to fill things out and expand," he said. "Not to undo, but rather to enhance. It's not like we just decided, 'Well, wouldn't it be cool if there's one episode where Joel and Ellie get on motorcycles and confront a gang?' There’s no episodic nonsense here. The things that are new and enhancing of the storyline that we’re doing are connected in organic, serious ways that I think fans of the game and newcomers alike will appreciate."
2. It Might Take a While for the Show to Actually Premiere
Don't hold your breath for an upcoming release date. On that BBC interview, Mazin mentioned that the writing for the show has just begun. Add to that a global pandemic that has halted all sorts of productions across a variety of mediums, and we're looking at a late 2021 premiere date at the very earliest.
3. A Second Season is a Already a Possibility
Back in March, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that "future seasons [of the show might] potentially [be] adapting the upcoming Part II of the game," which was then released in May. Of course, that all depends on the success of the first season.
4. The Yet-to-be-Announced Cast is Likely to be of Stellar Quality
Given the excitement surrounding the series and the high-caliber names associated with the production crew (Neil Druchmann, who wrote and co-directed the first and second games, joins Mazin, who also worked on the critically acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl), not to mention HBO's usually grand budget, we are sure that the show's cast will be amazing. Fans of the original game will be delighted to know that Druckmann confirmed that Joel and Ellie will certainly be starring in the adaptation, alongside Ellie's girlfriend Riley and characters Tess, Marlene and Maria. Mazin also confirmed that Ellie will represent the LGBTQ community, just as she has in the video games.
As for which actors will take on the various parts, names that have been floated around include Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams, who, rumor has it, approached Druckmann himself in the mid-2010s to appear in a movie version of the game that never ended up happening. May we suggest a Game of Thrones reunion, perhaps? Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jaime Lannister in the beloved series, does make for a pretty credible Joel, after all.