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‘The Last of Us’ Series Will “Deviate Greatly” From the Game

Brace yourselves The Last of Us fans. The upcoming TV adaptation of the beloved game franchise will deviate from the source material, at least in some aspects.

Speaking at SXSW to IGN, Neil Druckmann, Co-President of Naughty Dog Studios, Game Director of The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II, and executive producer on the TV series, said that while “the philosophical underpinnings of the story” would remain the same, certain aspects of the game would have to be altered in order to make sense for a TV show.

“For example, in the game, there’s so much action you have to have to train the player about mechanics. You have to have more violence and more spectacle to some degree than you would need on a TV show because you don’t need to train people on how to use a gun. So that’s something that’s been really different, and HBO’s been great in pushing us to move away from hardcore action and focus more on the drama of the character. Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can’t wait for people to see them” Druckmann explained.

This makes sense, considering that it wouldn’t make a ton of sense for the main characters to mow down hundreds of enemies on a TV show as they do in the games. Even in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by ravenous, infected humans, some realism is welcome.

For those unfamiliar with The Last of Us, the game tells the story of Joel and Ellie, two survivors forced to embark on a journey that takes them across the United States from Boston to Salt Lake City. Ellie is believed to be the only person who is immune to a virus that has nearly wiped out humanity and has transformed much of the population into mindless “Infected” creatures. Think zombies, but if they were caused by a fungus.

While they are initially reluctant to travel with one another, they begin to develop a close “father-daughter” relationship that forms the emotional core of the game.

The adaptation will see Pedro Pascal play Joel, while Bella Ramsey will portray Ellie. Pascal and Ramsey are no strangers to HBO productions, with both appearing in Game of Thrones in supporting roles. While they never shared the screen together, their characters (Oberyn Martell and Lyanna Mormont, respectively) quickly became fan-favorites.

Druckmann has repeatedly emphasized that the Joel-Ellie relationship is the most important part of this adaptation, and if it falls flat, the audience will not respond well.

The first season of the show will cover the first game, with potential future seasons going into the sequel’s story. It remains to be seen if the show goes past one season, but we’ll certainly be watching if it does.

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