When you have a narrative as rich in depth as that which has sustained two of the greatest videogames of all time, you want to make sure that you get the TV adaptation right, and judging by the size of the episode budgets for HBO’s live-action take on Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, they are going all out in bringing this world to the small-screen.
With filming underway in Fort Macleod in Alberta, Canada, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees 212 president Damian Petti spoke to CTV about the production, calling it a “monster” and continuing to say “It has five art directors and employs an army of hundreds of technicians. It has had six months of prep and shoots for 12 months. I cannot confirm the official budget numbers but will say it is likely the largest project shooting in Canada. This project well exceeds the eight-figure per episode mark, so there is a multiplier effect on our economy in terms of its impact. There are hundreds of related businesses benefitting from the plethora of work.”
Written by Chernobyl‘s Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, the writer and creative director of the game series, The Last of Us stars Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) and Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones) who will play Joel and Ellie respectively, with Gabriel Luna set to play Joel’s brother, Tommy, Merle Dandridge reprising her video game role as Marlene, and Nico Parker (The Third Day) set to portray Joel’s daughter, Sarah.
The Last of Us is “set 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed and centres on the relationship between Joel, a smuggler in this new world, and Ellie, a teenager who may be key to a cure for a deadly pandemic. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle the 14-year-old girl out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey as they traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.”