Johan Renck, executive producer for HBO’s adaption of The Last of Us, has spoken to discussingfilm.net and explained how they are tackling characters such as Ellie and Joel.
“So with the The Last of Us, this is something that we’re discussing,” he said., “We’re having weekly calls, Craig [Mazin] and I and also Neil [Druckmann] who created the game, about various approaches and how to deal with that. How to deal with the fact that a video game character is way further than a character from a book. But also it’s more different to deal with than a real person.”
He went to explain how that in previous adaption, the award winning Chernobly mini series, no one really knew what the real life characters but gamers know exactly how Joel and Ellie look and act.
“For instance, Valery Legasov from Chernobyl because nobody had ever seen or heard of him, it wasn’t pivotal to honor anything of that,” he said. “I’m being brief because of course we wanted to portray him as true to reality as we could. On the other hand, there were no preconceived ideas of it. With something like The Last of Us, it’s going to be a very different story.”
“This is something that we spent a lot of time talking about here and in the early development stages of this process. There are a lot of things to take into consideration and a lot of decisions and choices to be made in various ways without saying anything more about it.”
HBO’s The Last of Us is currently in pre-production and is looking to stay as close to the source material as possible by enlisted Gustavo Santaolalla, the composer of both The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II, to work on the show. The news was confirmed by Neil Druckmann in a tweet.
Well this is exciting! Beyond lending his incredible musical talent to The Last of Us Part II, Gustavo Santaolalla is joining us to bring over The Last of Us to HBO!
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) March 11, 2020
When the show was commissioned the project heads had the following to say. In a statement Neil Druckmann said:
“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. 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.”
Craig Mazin also released a statement and said:
Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus. 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.”
Random fact: Johan Renck used to be part of 90’s Swedish pop rap duo Stakker Bo.