Back in March 2020, Naughty Dog and HBO confirmed that a series based on The Last of Us would be created. Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin are working together to adapt the game for TV audiences. Around the time the show was announced it seemed that Chernobyl director Johan Renck would be on hand to also work on the show. However, it has now been confirmed that Johan Renck will no longer be available. Now, Kantemir Balagov will be directing The Last of Us’ HBO pilot.
His may not be a familiar name but Kantemir Balagov has had some success with his other projects. They include the Russian movie Beanpole. That movie is set in Leningrad during the year 1945. The city is in ruins and amongst it two women try to find their way. So, an near enough apocalyptic scenario and the aftermath of it. So, similar thematically in some ways to The Last of Us. Of course, we will have to see how Kantemir Balagov’s vision there translates to The Last of Us.
HBO and Naughty Dog aim to stay true to the original vision. In March,l ooking to stay as close to the source material as possible the HBO The Last of Us project enlisted Gustavo Santaolalla, the composer of both The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II. 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.”
Source: Hollywood Reporter