The storyline for “The Last of Us” series is primarily rooted in the video game’s post-apocalyptic narrative. At the heart of the story are people fighting for survival amid a surge of zombie-like maniacs whose brains have been infected with a virus born of the Cordyceps fungus. The pandemic, however, has also resulted in a breakdown in society, leading to a heavy-handed totalitarian structure that has sparked resistance against their rule.
Amid the madness, though, is hope for a cure, since teenager Ellie Williams (Bella Ramsey) is miraculously immune to the virus. Ellie can’t venture out on her own, though, so survivalist Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal) has taken on the treacherous duty of transporting the teen across the dangerous environs of what remains of America.
During a digital roundtable press event attended by Looper, Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin — who serve as co-showrunners on “The Last of Us” — detailed the intricacies of adapting a video game into a series. Noting the “massive undertaking” that went into creating both, Druckmann expressed his gratitude for his collaborators across the board. “To me, part of the fun, the journey of making a thing like this, is being surprised by the people you’ve teamed up with,” Druckmann said. “And I feel so extremely lucky in my career that I got to make the game at Naughty Dog with the best game developers in the world. And now, I get to do it with Craig and all these people from HBO, and this amazing crew that loves the source material and are the best at what they do.”
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