Since many countries came out of Covid lockdown, the entertainment industry seems to be on a mission to make up for lost time, with more productions seeming to be on-going simultaneously than ever. One of those is the video game adaptation series, The Last of Us, which appears to have wrapped its first episode under the direction of Kantemir Balagov, who recently shared on social media that his job is done. While Balagov is directing the first episode, the rest of the series will be helmed by Jasmila Zbanic and Ali Abbasi who share director duties on the show.
“My job here is done,” Kantemir Balagov updated on Instagram. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity. It was a great experience with ups & downs.” He went on to list all the people to have made the production a good experience including lead Pedro Pascal and Neil Druckmann.
When the HBO series was first announced, Craig Mazin, who was responsible for developing the show along with Druckmann, said of his development partner,”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 honored to do it in partnership with Neil.”
The Last of Us is a post-apocalyptic thriller based on the video game of the same name, and features more or less a straight translation of the game storyline, although there is a possibility that it could also take on board some of the events that took place in the second game installment. At the time of the series being announced back in March 2020, Mazin and Druckmann were both very excited about the project, and with Mazin being a fan of the game, there was never a doubt that the series was in the best hands. This was backed up by Druckmann being heavily involved in the production and his previous comments that the show would also feature some of the game elements that were cut.
“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,” said Druckmann. “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.”
The first season of the series will feature the pretty standard ten episodes, and stars Pedro Pascal as Joel, Bella Ramsey as Ellie, Nico Parker as Sarah, and Gabriel Luna as Tommy. While there have been many video game adaptations that have fallen far short of expectation, but so far there has been nothing but positive signs for The Last of Us.
There is currently still no premiere date set for The Last of Us, but based on its production schedule it seems likely that the series will premier sometime early in 2022.