When I first heard that The Last of Us was getting a TV show, I was worried; I’ve seen numerous good games decimated by a big-screen adaption, and don’t even get me started on the Assassin’s Creed movie. We all know that when a video game is truly ruined by a movie or TV adaptation, it becomes impossible to play another game in the series, as the magic is gone. That being said, I truly have high hopes for this adaptation, for the following reasons:
Before getting into those reasons, I want to provide a little The Last of Us background for anyone who hasn’t played the PlayStation exclusive. The Last of Us is a two-part emotional zombie horror game first released in 2013. After a mutant fungus ravages the world, our main character Joel escapes the madness and eventually meets up with Ellie, another survivor who appears to be immune from the disease. The rest of the game revolves around the pair evading and fighting the Fireflies, a rebel group against the quarantine zones. In 2020, a sequel was released, The Last of Us Part II, where the player controls Ellie.
Also, since you got me started, the Assassin’s Creed movie has a dismal 18% on Rotten Tomatoes. 18%! A prime example of a fantastic video game series turned into a terrible movie. Honestly, I haven’t played another Assassin’s Creed game since. My eye sockets have been forever scarred.
With that basic series background out of the way, here’s why I’m not concerned about The Last of Us TV show ruining the original game.
For starters, this adaption isn’t some cash cow created by random movie producers like the Assassin’s Creed movie; the producers have a proven track record. The series will be created by HBO, who has a long history of producing high-quality, action-packed media. HBO is a well-respected channel that cares about the work it puts out to the public. Famously quality shows such as Game of Thrones and Euphoria have been produced by HBO and I see them continuing this trend of quality production with The Last of Us TV show.
Secondly, Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin will not only co-write the show, he has also promised that the show only “enhance” the story. Chernobyl is another fantastic HBO show that aired in 2019 and focused on the devastation of the Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion and the resulting turmoil of the Soviet government’s reaction. The show even won an Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series. The fact that co-writer of The Last of Us’ adaption has already had top-notch writing experience bestows a lot of faith that he knows what he is doing and will not mess this show up.
Finally, the series will only cover content from the first game. This reassures that they are not trying to do too much by stuffing two games’ worth of content into only one show. Taking their time and focusing solely on the first game will allow them to live up to the hype, relishing the merit of a great game.
Even if the show falls flat, The Last of Us left such a lasting imprint in gamers’ hearts that the story is all-but untouchable in my eyes. Unless we see another Assassin’s Creed movie situation— which I pray, day and night, never to encounter— then we can all rest easy knowing we’ve got a gaming beauty coming to the silver screen.