Sorry, fans of soul-crushing tales about humanity’s simultaneous capacity for cruelty and compassion, and/or creepy fungus-zombie people: HBO’s ridiculously expensive adaptation of the hit video game, The Last of Us, won’t premiere until sometime in 2023.
The news was confirmed yesterday by HBO and HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys who, speaking with Deadline, explained that the first season is currently still filming in Canada.
The premiere window’s pushback comes only a few weeks after word got out that the adaptation would shift its plot timeline back a full decade — taking place in 2023 and ten years’ following the story’s pandemic outbreak, as opposed to the original game’s 2033 setting and 2013 civilizational collapse.
A deep read on the decision could potentially affect some of larger elements in The Last of Us, although in all likelihood it was done to make the whole, depressing tale hit that much closer to home. Thanks, HBO.
Other than the timeline update, there has been relative radio silence regarding the show apart from a single promo shot of the stories’ protagonists, Joel and Ellie (respectively played by The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal and Game Of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey). But, in this writer’s opinion, even that one image looks better than the trailer of another ridiculously expensive TV adaptation: Amazon’s upcoming Lord Of The Rings: The Rings of Power trailer.
Now scheduled to premiere sometime in 2023, The Last of Us is being adapted by the original video game’s writer and creative director, Neil Druckmann, as well as Craig Mazin (Chernobyl).
In addition to Pascal and Ramsey, the series will also co-star Nick Offerman, Nico Parker, Gabriel Luna, Jeffrey Pierce, Murray Bartlett, Anna Torv, and The Last of Us voice actress, Merle Dandrige.