Sony and Neil Druckmann to bring The Last of Us to HBO

The creator of the hit show Chernobyl, Craig Mazin, is partnering with Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann to create an adaptation of The Last of Us for HBO.

The series will cover Joel and Ellie’s story from the original game, “with the possibility of additional content based on the forthcoming game sequel”, The Last of Us Part II.

The show will be executively produced by Carolyn Strauss and Naughty Dog president, Evan Wells, in a joint venture between Sony Pictures Television and PlayStation Productions.

Sony revealed PlayStation Productions last year, confirming the new studio had been designed specifically to bring video game stories to TV and film. The venture is led by SIE chairman of Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden, and headed up by Sony veteran Asad Qizilbash. This is PlayStation Productions’ first confirmed project.

“Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus,” Mazin told The Hollywood Reporter. “Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I’m so honoured to do it in partnership with Neil.”

“From the first time I sat down to talk with Craig I was equally blown away by his approach to narrative and his love and deep understanding of The Last of Us,” said Druckmann. “With Chernobyl, Craig and HBO created a tense, harrowing, emotional masterpiece. I couldn’t think of better partners to bring the story of The Last of Us to life as a television show.”

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to partner with Craig, Neil, Carolyn and the teams at Sony, Naughty Dog and PlayStation to bring the virtual world of this acclaimed game to life,” said HBO programming president, Casey Bloys.

“This is the first of many shows we intend to develop with our friends at PlayStation Productions,” added Chris Parnell, co-president of Sony Pictures Television Studios. “The Last of Us is a brilliant achievement in storytelling and character development, and we are lucky to have the opportunity to work with this team to adapt it.”

In a rare development in the world of video game adaptations, the writer and creative director of the game, Neil Druckmann, is also involved and will work with Mazin to pen and executive produce what is intended to be a series.

This is just one of several game IPs coming to screens both big and small, most recently The Sonic the Hedgehog movie, which opened to a bumper debut weekend and generating over $113 million (£86.6m) globally across its opening weekend. We’ve also shared information about the Borderlands movie to be directed by Eli Roth, an animated Ni No Kuni movie coming to Netflix, plus Ubisoft has announced it is reimagining even more of its gaming franchises as TV shows.

There’s also a Cuphead series in the works for Netflix, plus a new Netflix film based upon Tom Clancy’s The Division starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain. A live-action series based upon Square Enix’s MMO RPG Final Fantasy XIV is also in development by Sony Pictures Television and Hivemind, the company that brought the highly successful The Witcher series to Netflix. Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering creator Wizards of the Coast has also announced it is partnering with Netflix and the Russo Brothers to produce a Magic: The Gathering animated series.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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