HBO’s The Last of Us co-creator Craig Mazin recently explained how The Last of Us Part II video game influenced his creative process for the show. The series is based on the award-winning 2013 PlayStation game of the same name, which saw a successful sequel released in 2020. Pedro Pascal stars as Joel Miller, a hardened survivor tasked with escorting precocious 14-year-old orphan Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to the Fireflies, a revolutionary group that aims to harness Ellie’s immunity to the fungal plague to create a vaccine.
While on HBO’s The Last of Us Podcast (via Collider), Mazin discussed how The Last of Us Part II influenced his creative process writing the HBO adaptation’s season 1.
While meeting with the original game creator and series co-creator Neil Druckmann before production on the show, Mazin revealed that he was given a sneak peek at a sequence from the unreleased game that depicted Ellie’s love of space travel. Read how that moment from the game influenced Mazin below:
“When I first started working with Neil on this adaptation, it was before The Last of Us Part II came out. It was the first time I’d gone to Naughty Dog, and he asked if I wanted to see a sequence from the second game, that touches on Ellie’s fascination with being an astronaut and space travel, and it was this beautiful moment. I said we had this opportunity Neil didn’t have on the first game. We know more now. It was a chance to show how Joel knew Ellie. She asks if he knows who her favorite astronaut is, and he knows. Instinctively he’s already in her head and knows her, and she isn’t shocked by this.”
Will the HBO Series Change The Last of Us Part II’s Story
While episode 6 briefly hints at Ellie’s fascination with space, it becomes a significant part of the story in The Last of Us Part II game, which is the focus for an entire chapter. Although Ellie briefly mentions her interest in astronauts and space in the original 2013 game, the sequel takes her passion to a whole new level with a touching sequence between her and Joel. However, due to the significant backlash surrounding The Last of Us Part II and its controversial storyline, Mazin and Druckmann will face added pressure from the franchise’s divided fanbase.
Shortly before The Last of Us Part II‘s release, key narrative details were leaked to the public, which sparked backlash about the creative developments. Although the devastating leaks were without complete context, the reception to the spoiled plot details was not favorable. Druckmann, the voice cast members, and Naughty Dog’s development team received death threats due to the unsatisfying plotline for Part II felt by the gaming community. With HBO recently announcing that The Last of Us was renewed for season 2, it has left questions about how the potential story will be handled.
Mazin and Druckman previously stated that they intend to remain faithful to the franchise. They also explained that the HBO series will only adhere to the story present in the games and not stray too far from the source material. Mazin and Druckmann’s comments indicate that the story of The Last of Us season 2 will more than likely adhere to The Last of Us Part II‘s award-winning yet divisive story.
More: The Last Of Us Season 2 Renewal Risks A Major Game Controversy
Source: The Last of Us Podcast (via Collider)