HBO and Naughty Dog team up for The Last of Us TV series

The show is said to follow the events of the first game.

With the upcoming release of one of the most anticipated games of the year, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2, the developer has announced that it’s teaming up with premium TV service HBO to bring the survival horror game to TV screens in another format—scripted live action. 

The announcement was made by Naughty Dog via its official Twitter page, with the exclusive scoop picked up by The Hollywood Reporter, while also confirming that the studio’s game director and writer of the original game Neil Druckmann will have direct involvement with the series. 

Even more significantly, he’s teaming up for the TV series with Craig Mazin, who created 2019’s Chernobyl, which was hailed as one of the greatest short series of television of all time by critics and viewers alike. He stated his excitement for the project, saying, “Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game 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.”

The series will follow the events of the first game, with some possible extra details from the new game included. Aside from this, no further details were shared about the collaboration, but Naughty Dog’s games are often steeped in cinematic flair, especially the Uncharted series. Nathan Drake’s story has been in development for a film adaptation for some time, but this is the first mention of The Last of Us being adapted for the screen. 

With Joel and Ellie from the game, voiced and motion-captured by Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, there will be questions as to whether they could be the ones to take up the roles, especially if the series acts as a sequel to the current games. With The Last of Us 2’s release approaching, it will be interesting to see how the events of the game can tie into the TV series, or whether Druckmann and Mazin decide to simply follow the plot from the games.