HBO’s upcoming TV adaptation of The Last of Us will be having Chernobyl director Johan Renck behind the first episode. He will also be joined by game director Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin to bring the post-apocalyptic world in live-action form.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Renck’s was largely credited for establishing his own re-telling of the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, garnering widespread praise from critics for painting a grim scenario and national emergencies to unsettling degrees. It’s likely the first episode adds some of Renck’s flair to set audiences into The Last of Us, as seen in the first game’s prologue in 2013. The pilot’s director has also been credited in other major productions including Breaking Bad, Bates Motel, The Walking Dead and Halt and Catch Fire.
Renck will be working with Druckmann, who helped create the game’s universe to retell the story of young girl Ellie and jaded smuggler Joel, who make a dangerous trek across a zombie-infested U.S. after discovering a possible cure to the cordyceps-type virus. The pair are also hunted by radical scavenger group The Fireflies and other survivors searching for supplies.
Druckmann is also executive producing the series with Carolyn Strauss, while Naughty Dog president Evan Wells is closely attached to the project in order to make HBO’s adaptation as close to the game as possible. Interestingly, the series involves Sony Pictures Television in one of their first projects, while it’s a label debut for PlayStation Productions.
Word of a series adaptation for The Last of Us was announced early March 2020 by HBO, Naughty Dog and PlayStation who tweeted out a photo of The Fireflies logo and a “coming soon” tag – much to the excitement of Druckmann and producers adapting their game.