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How HBO’s The Last of Us Keeps the Story Fresh for Fans

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The Last of Us co-creator Craig Mazin explains how the upcoming series adaptation of the popular video game will keep things fresh for the fans.


The Last of Us co-creator Craig Mazin has revealed how they kept the upcoming HBO drama series fresh for fans already familiar with the story.


Speaking with SFX, Mazin said that he is excited for The Last of Us fans to be “startled” by what the HBO series adds to the mythology. “And not because it’s wildly different than the game, or violates the game or breaks it, but because it just wasn’t in it. Everything we did is clearly connected to the soul and spirit of the game,” he explained. “And if you tell something honestly and beautifully, you will find one little thing – even if it’s the twitch of an eye, or the slightest change of a look – that adds something to that moment and it will be its own moment.”

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Mazin had previously revealed in a December 2022 interview that The Last of Us would feature cut content from the video game franchise. “I have played The Last of Us about 12 times. I know how it ends. I love the journey. And we promise, there will be surprises along the way,” he said at the time. “If you’ve played the game, I promise you there are things that you don’t know that are coming that will blow your mind.” The Last of Us co-creator Neil Druckmann then clarified, “There’s stuff that was written that we didn’t get a chance to put in the game that is in the show. So, you’ll get to see an enrichment of these characters…It’s interesting, we’ve now talked to people who have watched the entire season and went back and played the game, and they said the game is now richer having watched the show.”


The Last of Us Comes to HBO

The Last of Us is based on the Naughty Dog video game of the same name, which was released exclusively on the PlayStation 3 in 2013, earning overwhelming praise from critics and players alike for its tense gameplay, compelling performances and powerful narrative. Like the game, the HBO series will take place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed and overrun by fungus-infected monsters known as “Clickers.” The Last of Us will follow Joel (The Mandalorian‘s Pedro Pascal), a hardened survivor, who is hired to smuggle Ellie (Bella Ramsey), a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone.

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In addition to Pascal and Ramsey, The Last of Us stars Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess, Nico Parker as Sarah, Murray Bartlett as Frank, Nick Offerman as Bill, Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen, Storm Reid as Riley, Merle Dandridge as Marlene, Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, Lamar Johnson as Henry, Keivonn Woodard as Sam, Graham Greene as Marlon, and Elaine Miles as Florence. Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker, who respectively portrayed Ellie and Joel in the video games, are also slated to appear in the upcoming series in undisclosed roles.

The Last of Us premieres on HBO and HBO Max on Jan. 15.

Source: SFX

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