One of the most pleasant surprises of 2019 was the runaway success of The Witcher on Netflix, which went from a pretty dodgy-looking concept (never forget: "ballsack armor") to a legitimately good series that enjoyed unexpected mainstream success. Now The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Sony and Naughty Dog are going to try to duplicate that success, or maybe even surpass it, with an HBO series based on the acclaimed PlayStation survival-horror game The Last of Us.
The series will cover the events of the first game (a sequel is slated for release in May), in which a hardened survivor and smuggler named Joel is hired to escort a teenager named Ellie out of a zombie-infested quarantine zone. It's being adapted by Craig Mazin, the creator of the Chernobyl series—which raises expectations all on its own—and unlike The Witcher, which was largely (and characteristically) ignored by author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Last of Us writer and creative director Neil Druckmann will work with Mazin on it as a writer and executive producer.
"Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus," Mazin said. "Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I'm so honored to do it in partnership with Neil."
Look for the light. @clmazin and @Neil_Druckmann to develop the series adaptation of #TheLastOfUs, coming soon to HBO: https://t.co/z9c2h86EYw pic.twitter.com/AkT6fET4ImMarch 5, 2020
Druckmann said in a statement that he was "blown away by [Mazin's] approach to narrative and his love and deep understanding of The Last of Us."
"With Chernobyl, Craig and HBO created a tense, harrowing, emotional masterpiece. I couldn't think of better partners to bring the story of The Last of Us to life as a television show."
The Last of Us is well known as a high-profile PlayStation exclusive, but the word on the street is that The Last of Us 2 could be coming our way. And while the street is notoriously unreliable and fickle, there is evidence supporting the rumor, including a PC-sounding job listing and a general sense of increased openness to PC releases from Sony. And let us not forget that Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human were all in the same position, and all came to our platform last year.
There's no word yet on a release date or roles, which means we've got some time to argue about—that is, politely discuss and debate—who should be in it.