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The Last of Us EP Explained How the HBO Show Will Differ From the Game

The last of us pedro pascal joel

Ellie and Joel’s story might not be as cut and dried as fans of The Last of Us think in regards to the HBO adaptation of the popular game. For fans, part 1 and 2 of the popular game have been a major win for Naughty Dog productions, and now, Neil Druckmann, who served as a writer for the game with Halley Gross, will executive produce the HBO show.

Recently, it was revealed that Pedro Pascal would be taking on the role of Joel with Game of Thrones costar Bella Ramsey taking on Ellie. And now, IGN spoke with Druckmann at this year’s SXSW about the upcoming series and got a bit into how the adaptation was going to work on screen:

We talked at length [that season 1 of the show is going to be [the first game]. As far as the superficial things, like should [a character] wear the same plaid shirt or the same red shirt? They might or might not appear in it, that’s way less important to us than getting the core of who these people are and the core of their journey.

Druckmann went on explain the difference between creating the world of the video game versus how something like the violence of the game doesn’t need to be to the same degree on a TV show.

For example, in the game, there’s so much action you have to have to train the player about mechanics. You have to have more violence and more spectacle to some degree than you would need on a TV show because you don’t need to train people on how to use a gun. So that’s something that’s been really different, and HBO’s been great in pushing us to move away from hardcore action and focus more on the drama of the character. Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can’t wait for people to see them.

Personally, I’m very excited about The Last of Us, and not just because of Pascal’s casting. I’ve been putting off playing this game because I knew how addicted I would get to it, and now that the show is barreling ahead, it has really kicked me in gear to finally start taking on The Last of Us Part 1 and Part 2.

Beyond talking a bit about how the adaptation works, Druckmann didn’t give too much away for the series but did tell IGN that he “can’t wait for people to see what we saw in the people we’ve brought together” (referring to the announced casting). Are we going to see Joel with a guitar? Are those quiet moments that I do know from the game going to translate to the adaptation? We’ll have to wait and see, but I’m very excited for whatever story The Last of Us is going to bring.

(via IGN, image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/Sony)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.