The Last of Us is being made into an HBO series

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

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."

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. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.