Craig Mazin, the creator of HBO’s Emmy-winning limited series Chernobyl, will now adapt a new series not from a real-life bleak nuclear disaster, but from a post-apocalyptic PlayStation game, The Last of Us. The writer and creative director of the videogame, Neil Druckmann, will also write and executive produce the series.
The videogame, which was produced by Naughty Dog and released for Sony PlayStation in 2013, follows a man named Joel, a smuggler during a post-apocalyptic period in the U.S., whose path crosses with that of Ellie, a teenage girl who might be the key to curing the pandemic that has found the country in such a decrepit state. The two traverse the country, depending on each other for survival.
The series may also take inspiration from the forthcoming sequel to the videogame, The Last of Us Part II, which is slated for release on May 29.
According to his statement, Mazin is a big fan of the game, and thinks highly of Druckmann’s narrative style: “Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the videogame medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus. 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 mirrors that enthusiasm to be working with Mazin, echoing in a statement: “From the first time I sat down to talk with Craig I was equally blown away by his 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.”
According to Chris Parnell, co-president of Sony Pictures Television Studios, more adaptations of PlayStation games are expected to manifest in the future.
The Last of Us sold more than 17 million copies worldwide combined with its original release on PlayStation 3 and a remastered version on PlayStation 4, and won many accolades, including “game of the year” on many end-of-year roundup lists.