Writing for HBO’s adaptation of the video game The Last of Us is well underway, with the writers meeting frequently to discuss how to adapt one of the biggest games of all time. As Comic Book has reported, writer and producer for the series Craig Mazin (writer of HBO’s Chernobyl) discussed how the plot between the original and adaptation will stay the same, but television allows for more opportunity to explore the world of The Last of Us.
Despite its financial success and critical acclaim, The Last of Us has proven to be a contentious series. Thus, there is a lot of anticipation and agitation for the HBO adaptation. Mazin references this in his radio interview with the BBC, transcribed by IGN: “I’m a little bit scared because a lot of emotions connected to this game are rather intense. I think I’m probably going to go hide in a bunker for a while because you can’t make everyone happy!” Yet, Mazin assures fans that there will not be major deviations from the first games’ narrative.
“I think fans of something worry that, when the property gets licensed to someone else, those people don’t really understand it, or are going to change it,” Mazin discussed in the interview, also quoted in Comic Book. However, Mazin addresses this trepidation by acknowledging that he is working with Neil Druckmann, the writer and director of the original video game: “In this case, I’m doing it with the guy who did it, and so the changes that we’re making are designed to fill things out and expand, not to undo, but rather to enhance.”
Mazin emphasizes his excitement to work on this project as he is not only a fan of the games, but also interested in how to adapt a video game to the medium of television. As published in Comic Book, Mazin said “We’re creating anew and we’re also reimagining what is already there to present a different format.”
The Last of Us adaptation will feature a reunion between Mazin and director Johan Renck (Breaking Bad) after their work on HBO’s Chernobyl, which recently won several BAFTA awards. The Last of Us has been a huge hit for Sony, with the sequel becoming the fastest selling Playstation title of all time.