HIT zombie game The Last of Us is getting its very own HBO series fronted by Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal.
But when it is out, and what is The Last of Us about?
1) Is The Last Of Us HBO show based on the video game?
HBO announced in March 2020 that it was working on a TV adaptation of the hit gaming franchise, The Last of Us.
Game lead writer Neil Druckmann is penning the series alongside Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin.
Acclaimed Beanpole director Kantemir Balagov will direct the pilot following HBO’s decision to commission a full series in November.
“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to partner with Craig [Mazin] … and PlayStation to bring the virtual world of this acclaimed game to life,” HBO’s Casey Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter.
In February 2021, the lead actors for the adaptation were announced.
Mandalorian leading man Pedro Pascal will play the brooding Joel, who’s tasked with smuggling teenager Ellie – played by Game of Thrones breakout star Bella Ramsey – across quarantine zones in a zombie-infested America.
Druckmann confirmed the casting in a series of tweets on February 11.
It’s unclear how closely the show will follow the events of developer Naughty Dog’s games.
The blockbuster titles are renowned for their gripping plots, violent gameplay and popular lead characters.
2) What is The Last Of Us about?
So far, there have been two entries to The Last of Us franchise, starting with 2013 smash-hit game, The Last of Us (spoilers ahead).
Set 20 years after the outbreak of a devastating modern plague, the original title followed the story of Joel, a bereaved father who helps escort 14-year-old Ellie across a post-apocalyptic America.
They’re forced to contend with zombie-style cannibal humans that have been taken over by a mutant fungus, as well as hostile people, too.
Ellie is immune to the fungus, which turns anyone who inhales its spores into a zombie. She is therefore a beacon of hope in the fight to find a cure.
Joel and Ellie embark on a journey across America to a laboratory in Utah operated by a revolutionary militia group called the Fireflies.
It’s hoped that a team of scientists there can use the teenager’s brain tissue to develop a vaccine for the fungal plague.
However, as doctors begin operating on her, they reveal that the procedure will kill her.
Joel has a change of heart, massacring all those at the lab in order to save his friend’s life – and ending any hope for a cure.
The Last of Us 2 was released in June 2020, and follows the lives of Ellie and Joel a few years on from the events of the first game.
The pair have settled down in Jackson, Wyoming, but a brutally violent event carried out by a group of former Fireflies disrupts that peace.
Ellie embarks on a relentless journey to carry out justice and find closure.
As she hunts those responsible one by one, Ellie is forced to consider the heart-wrenching physical and emotional repercussions of her killings.
The sequel game won an armful of prizes at The Game Awards in December including Game of the Year.
3) When is The Last Of US out on HBO and how can I watch it?
HBO has yet to announce a release date for its Last of Us adaptation.
Given the series was announced on March 6, 2020, it’s likely the show won’t be out until late 2021 or early 2022 at the very earliest.
There’s a good chance it will be later than that however, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to delay production targets across the industry.
In March 2020, Mazin outlined a timetable for production on his podcast, “Scriptnotes”.
“We can’t start on it right away because they’re still finishing up the second game, but pretty soon,” Mazin said.
“We’ve been talking about it for months and coming up with little plans and things. But we’re going to dig in in full, full earnest pretty soon, just as soon as they wrap up their final work on the sequel.”
Given that the show is an HBO production, it will be available on the HBO TV channel in the US, as well as the network’s streaming app, HBO Go.
In the UK, the series will most likely be available through Sky Atlantic after HBO and Sky penned an exclusive five-year programming deal in 2019.
NowTV, which is owned by Sky, will almost certainly hold exclusive streaming rights to the show.
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Are you excited for the Last of Us TV show? Let us know in the comments!