SERIES PREVIEW – The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s 2013 post-apocalyptic saga, is one of the most beloved video games of the 21st century. The award-winning game’s heart-pounding thrills, devastating post-apocalyptic world, lifelike, adorable and realistic characters and stunning visuals made it a fan favourite from launch, and the sequel and additional playable content have deepened the story even further. It’s no wonder, then, that game fans have been particularly protective of the source material throughout the game’s years-long journey to the film adaptation. Why mess with a story that is already as perfect as it can be?
Fortunately, it seems that the team behind HBO’s The Last of Us is deeply committed to preserving the original magic. The game will soon be moving to the premium cable channel, with the series adaptation starring Pedro Pascal as the notorious smuggler Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie, the girl he’s supposed to be transporting. The series will also see the return of several game voice actors, including Jeffrey Pierce, Merle Dandridge, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson. Neil Druckmann, who wrote and directed the PlayStation game, is executive producing, co-creating, co-writing and directing the series.
Keeping the spirit of the game alive
“We stick to the things that we, the players of the game, know are the heart and soul of the game because we want this experience to be accurate and authentic [for newcomers],” said actor Gabriel Luna, who plays Tommy. In “What Would Kay Say? ” YouTube channel. According to Luna, the original game was “heart-wrenching”, and the changes made to the series “have expanded the story so that whatever little piece of your heart is left – of those of you who played the game – we go ahead and just go ahead and ‘scratch’ it out as well. ”
While the series has yet to unveil a trailer that might hint at how it plans to break fans’ hearts, Druckmann also shared some insights into the differences between the two formats. He told IGN that some episodes in the series are closely aligned with the games, even pulling entire lines of dialogue from them, but “there are also times when they’re very different, which makes a much better impact because we’re dealing with a different medium. ‘ Druckmann, for example, cites the game’s gory gameplay mechanics tutorial section as an aspect the series doesn’t need to adopt, as viewers aren’t being trained on console controls. Druckmann says this has forced the series to “move away from pure hardcore action” to “focus on drama and characters. ”
New characters and superficial changes
Druckmann also explains that there may be some superficial changes to aspects of the series, such as costumes. The filmmaker told IGN that he’s most concerned with getting “the philosophical underpinnings of the story” just right, while questions like “should people wear the same plaid shirt or the same red shirt? ” are much less vital to the team bringing the series to life.
Still, the images the team has shared so far are eerily similar to the source material. For example, as Ramsey and Pascal’s official first look photo shows, this version of Joel does not have the full beard for which the character is known. The shot Druckmann shared of the actors on set last fall could easily be mistaken for one of the game’s cut-scenes.
The original actors also “return” – just in different roles
Since much of the series is still a secret, fans will have to wait to see what Luna and Druckmann’s teases reveal, but other minor changes are already in evidence. The series’ casting announcements include some characters whose names are far from unknown to fans of The Last Of Us.
For example, two of the main actors, voice actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who played Joel and Ellie in the Naughty Dog game on which the HBO series is based and who announced at the Summer Games Festival that they would be starring in the new series.
While no other details about the duo’s roles were immediately available, a press release from Warner Media confirms that the pair will be playing different characters from the 2013 game. It would have been difficult to cast them in the two original roles, as we’ve known for some time that they would be played by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey.
And last year, Deadline reported that Jeffrey Pierce would not be joining the cast as Tommy, the character he played in the game, but as a new character called Perry. The outlet simply describes Perry as a rebel quarantine zone rebel. Meanwhile, “The White Lotus” actor Murray Bartlett will play Frank, a supporting character referenced in the original game.
Two additional actors have signed on to play characters that fans of The Last of Us may not be familiar with. On her Instagram account, “Y: The Last Man” actress Natasha Mumba has added her name to the series alongside that of unknown character Kim Tembo. Meanwhile, Brad Leland, best known for his role on “Friday Night Lights,” revealed on The A List Productions podcast that he filmed scenes for the series. Although Games Radar reports that the actor may be playing a character named Mr. Adler, based on IMDb credits, HBO has not provided any official information about the role.
They don’t take away from it; they add to it
All in all, it sounds like HBO is planning to make The Last Of Us more additive than reductive, so while fans may get unexpected moments, the parts fans love will probably be there too. The series co-creator, executive producer and writer Craig Mazin confirmed this to BBC Radio, explaining that “the changes we’re making are designed to fill things out and expand: not undo, but rather enhance”. All of these additions will take up some screen time, meaning that the most significant change to The Last of Us as it transitions from game to series could be its length. While future episodes of the series have not been officially announced, everyone involved is referring to the upcoming batch of episodes as the first season, meaning the big-budget series is likely to be a longshot.
“The Last Of Us” will debut on HBO, the release date not yet known.
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