HBO’s The Last Of Us adaptation, which is scheduled to premiere in 2022, is already shaping up to be one of the most expensive TV series ever made. In July, an Alberta CTV news organization reported that an eight-figure price tag per episode, putting it firmly in the range of later seasons of Game Of Thrones. The bean counters at Amazon Studios may or may not be breathing a sigh of relief over the reported $456 million budget for the Lord Of The Rings series that’s due out next year. But, given that Amazon was prepared to spend $1 billion on an adaptation of Liu Cixin’s The Three Body Problem in 2018, it probably still feels like pocket change.
Naturally, such hefty production costs may lead you to wonder what kind of story is being crafted for HBO by Neil Druckmann (who served as both writer and creative director on the Last Of Us game) and Craig Mazin (Chernobyl). The casting decisions have certainly been inspired—Pedro Pascal will lead the series as Joel, a smuggler whose tough façade is initially mirrored by his latest “cargo,” a teenage girl named Ellie, who’s played by Game Of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey. Their relationship is the emotional core of the game’s post-apocalyptic narrative, and will almost certainly have similar prominence in the series.
Well, we got our first look at the series today, thanks to Naughty Dog, which posted a tweet with an image of Joel and Ellie gazing upon some ruins on the horizon. “Look for the light,” the post from the game developers reads. We’re sure everyone’s already analyzing the picture for clues, but the silhouettes are certainly familiar, as is Joel’s worn leather backpack.
Pascal posted a similar tweet on his own account just eight minutes later, with the line: “I got you, baby girl.”
This early preview comes on “The Last Of Us Day,” which has been observed throughout the day with posts under #TLOUDay hashtag, as well as a Playstation blog post that alerted readers to the update on the show from Naughty Dog.