The Last of Us is one of the greatest video games of all time – lesbian or otherwise. Eight years and two generations of console later, and the original game is still considered a cult classic. When Part II came out in 2020, it was met with critical acclaim. Though fan responses were mixed at the time of release, with some objecting to Part II’s focus on LGBT characters, it holds the record for winning most Game of the Year awards. And now the franchise is being adapted for television. Here’s what we know so far.
Who’s in it?
According to HBO: “the story takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel (portrayed by Pedro Pascal) – a hardened survivor – is hired to smuggle Ellie (portrayed by Bella Ramsey) – a 14-year-old girl – out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the US and depend on each other for survival.”
Bella Ramsey is best known for her role as Lyanna Mormont, a little girl with a big attitude, in HBO’s Game of Thrones. And this experience will stand her in good stead to play Ellie Williams, who is foul-mouthed and feisty from the moment we meet her. Ellie is playable for a portion of The Last of Us and all of the Left Behind DLC; in the sequel, she is the protagonist. It’s a huge part – one with the potential to make Ramsey a household name.
Starring opposite her in the role of Joel is fellow Game of Thrones alumnus Pedro Pascal, who played Oberyn Martel. Pascal currently plays the titular role in The Mandalorian, where he has proven a powerful lead. Pascal’s character Din Djarin is a fighter, a man who knows how to “endure and survive” – not a world away from our favorite smuggler.
Gabriel Luna is playing Tommy Miller, Joel’s brother, a supporting character who features heavily in both games. On the very first day of filming, Luna posted a picture of himself, Pascal, and Nico Parker (Joel’s daughter Sarah) together on his Instagram. The trio are sat in a car grinning – which, anybody who has played the opening chapter of The Last of Us knows, isn’t going to last very long. There’s not much to smile about during the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse. But fans – and Merle Dandridge, who voiced freedom fighter Marlene in the games – are happy.
Will the TV show be loyal to the games?
The Last of Us fans will be relieved to know that with Neil Druckmann at the helm – the writer and creative director behind the games – there’s a very good chance this adaptation will be loyal to the games. Evan Wells, President of game developer Naughty Dog, is an Executive Producer of the TV show. And with composer Gustavo Santaolalla signed on to the project, the soundtrack is bound to have a similar vibe. With the creative forces behind the games as key players in the TV series, it’s unlikely to disappoint.
When can we watch?
The Last of Us is due to air in late 2022. Though on top of the usual delays, the team must contend with a pandemic. While COVID-19 may not be as extreme as the cordyceps virus, it does have the potential to slow production. But The Last of Us looks to be worth the wait. And we can all replay the games in the mean time!