HBO’s “The Last of Us” is the latest TV series adapted from a video game that aims to bring more gamers to the streaming service. Today, the first full trailer of “The Last of Us” was released, giving fans of the best-selling franchise a look at the new show, set to premiere on HBO and HBO Max in 2023.
The show is based on the 2013 action-adventure game, which sold 17 million copies across PlayStation 3 and PS4 users in 2018.Just like the PlayStation video game, “The Last of Us” series follows a hardened survivor named Joel, played by “The Mandalorian” star Pedro Pascal, as he journeys across a United States decimated by a deadly disease called the cordyceps fungus. Along the way, he travels with a young girl named Ellie, played by “Game of Thrones” alum Bella Ramsey, who plays a crucial part is finding a cure for the zombie-like plague that has destroyed society.
The trailer reveal came on Sept. 26, which is nicknamed Outbreak Day in “The Last of Us” community. In the original video game, the cordyceps fungus first began spreading around the U.S. on Sept. 26. In the trailer, set to Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken,” fans will recognize key moments from “The Last of Us” video game, such as Joel and Ellie escaping a quarantine zone, two collapsing skyscrapers they must traverse, Ellie riding a merry-go-round with her childhood friend Riley and Joel running with his daughter Sarah at the onset of the pandemic.
While HBO Max isn’t getting into the video game business like its streaming rival Netflix, which just announced an internal games studio based in Finland, HBO Max is adapting a popular game franchise that is likely to draw in many fans.
Plus, with streaming series like “Halo,” “Arcane,” “Witcher” and others that have become hits, it’s safe to say that video-game adaptations will be a key to boosting subscriber growth.
In addition to Pascal and Ramsey, the cast includes Gabriel Luna as Joel’s brother Tommy; Merle Dandridge as Marlene, the leader of the rebel group the Fireflies; Nico Parker as Joel’s daughter Sarah, Murray Bartlett as Frank; Nick Offerman as Bill; Jeffrey Pierce as Perry; and Anna Torv as Tess. Voice actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who played Joel and Ellie in the video games, will also appear in the show in undisclosed roles.
Neil Druckmann, co-president of video game studio Naughty Dog, serves as co-creator, executive producer alongside Craig Mazin, the Emmy-winning creator of “Chernobyl.” Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan and Rose Lam are executive producers. Kantemir Balagov, Jasmila Žbanić, Ali Abbasi, Peter Hoar, Jeremy Webb and Liza Johnson are directors. The series is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, and PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint and Naughty Dog produce.