The series, which was first announced in March 2020, is based on Naughty Dog’s hugely successful 2013 video game and went into production in mid-summer 2021. Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin is overseeing the show for HBO, with Pedro Pascal (Joel), Bella Ramsey (Ellie) and Gabriel Luna (Tommy) among the main cast.
Early reports suggested the show could arrive this year, with Ramsey posting a Instagram story giving The Last of Us a release date of 2022. However, talking to Deadline, HBO and HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys revealed that The Last of Us TV series wouldn’t premiere until 2023 at the earliest.
Asked when The Last Of Us will hit screens, Bloys said: “It’s not going to air in 2022 – they’re still filming in Canada. I imagine you’ll see in 2023.”
He had some more positive news, revealing that the studio was delighted with the early results. “I’ve seen a few early episodes and I’m really excited,” he added. “Craig made Chernobyl for us, he’s a fantastic writer and director. What I saw looks amazing so I’m excited but it won’t be in 2022.”
With a budget of more than $155 million, the production drew comparisons to War of Thrones, but Bloys was quick to dismiss them. “There is no next Game of Thrones,” suggested Bloys. “I’ve been here so long I’ve been through, what’s the next Sopranos, what’s the next Game of Thrones, now what’s the next Succession. There’s no next Game of Thrones.”
Analysis: What can viewers expect from The Last of Us?
The Last Of Us takes place 20 years after modern civilization was destroyed by a deadly virus.
We follow Joel de Pascal, a veteran survivor who is hired to smuggle Ellie de Ramsey out of an oppressive quarantine zone for the Fireflies, an organization that is looking for a cure for the virus. Together, the two must travel across America, depending on each other for survival.
With Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann on board, the TV adaptation of The Last of Us is likely to follow the events of the 2013 game as closely as possible. There will, however, be some plot divergences, with Druckmann telling the Podcast Script Apart: “Our approach to The Last of Us was ‘Let’s make it an independent film.’ We’re going to approach it as an independent film team, the way it’s filmed, how small and intimate it feels. And with the show, we can lean even more on that, because we don’t need to have as many action sequences as we do in the game.”
Meanwhile, Pascal believes the HBO adaptation will live up to the beloved video game franchise. Speaking to the German magazine Neelix (thanks to dualshockers to detect this), the Mandalorian star said, “I think the film adaptation can more than live up to the original game. I have no doubt that we will not disappoint fans of the game or new viewers.” Here’s hoping he’s right.