The Last of Us TV series: Cast, release date, trailer info


As if the real world isn’t already giving us our dystopian fill, HBO are back with another series exploring the post-apocalyptic American landscape. Their hotly anticipated adaptation of The Last of UsNaughty Dog’s console generation-defining video game masterpiece, is set to land in 2023, reportedly sticking to the original plot.

The game brought together an unlikely duo in Joel, a salt of the earth smuggler with a tragic past, and Ellie, a teenage girl who holds the key to the survival of humanity twenty years following a decimating parasitic outbreak. Together, the two travel across a wasted United States, from Massachusetts to Utah, in hope of delivering humanity’s last, best hope for longevity.

As far as we can tell, it’s set to release at some point in 2023, after much speculation of an earlier release date. It has been reported that the show will stick to the source material, too, but we’re yet to see any footage, with a trailer unlikely until at least the new year (although shooting has now reportedly finished).

Here’s everything else we know about The Last of Us.

The Last of Us is “very respectful of the game,” according to Bella Ramsey

After years of speculation (and yes, fan casting) linking Maisie Williams to the role, her fellow Game of Thrones alum Bella Ramsey was finally cast as Ellie, The Last of Usteenage heroin. It’s a big step up, but Ramsey sounds confident of the show’s success — at least when it comes to the fans.

“I think people are going to love [the adaptation]. I know there were people worried about it, of course. When something is so precious to you as a viewer — as a gamer — of course you’re going to be worried about the adaptation,” she said in a conversation with SheKnows.

“But honestly, I think people are going to love it. It very much follows the emotional beats of the game, and it’s very respectful of the game and honors the game,” she continued.

“[The live-action series adaptation] brings a new life into it. It explores different avenues that weren’t explored so much in the game. I do think people are going to love it. I hope they do. It was so much fun to make, such an experience. I hope that [audiences] feel that experience too when they come on the adventure with us.”

This very much tallies up with what co-star Pedro Pascal, who plays gruff father-figure Joel in the show, told us back in April. “There’s a very, very creative way of honoring what’s important and also preserving what is iconic to the experience of the video game, and also [to include] things that you wouldn’t necessarily expect,” Pascal said. “And then directions that you would expect it to go, and it might not… they’re doing some really smart things, is all I can say.”

It’ll be an “enhanced” adaptation of the source material

Aside from a stellar central duo in Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, The Last of Us boasts a creative team with huge collective cachet. For starters, the script was co-written by Neil Druckman, the creator of the original game, and Craig Mazin, best known for his smash hit limited series Chernobylwhich stormed the Emmys in 2019 with six major wins, including Best Limited Series.

What’s more, they’ve got Kantemir Balagov on directing duties for the first two episodes, whose third feature beanpole won a swathe of indie awards in 2021. And he’s not the only behind-the-camera guy they’ve drafted from the art house circuit: Yugoslavian filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic, best known for her Oscar nominee Quo vadis, Aida? has been picked up for at least one episode, with Cannes-favorite Iranian author Ali Abbasi (border, Holy Spider) providing directorial duties for three.

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