While video game adaptations have had a rocky history, it finally seems like the entertainment industry has found a way to do the classic games justice. Recently both sonic the hedgehog and Unexplored were box office hits, and Super Mario Bros. should be one of the biggest movies of this year. However, there probably hasn’t been a more anticipated adaptation than The last of usthe HBO series inspired by the 2013 game of the same name. The last of us is as much a story of trauma and heartbreak as it is a post-apocalyptic adventure, and the creative team behind it reflects the more serious implications of the narrative.
The last of us follows Joel (Peter Pascal), a smuggler who agrees to transport the young girl Ellie (Bella Ramsay) to safety in a post-apocalyptic version of the United States. The eruption of a mutant Cordyceps fungus has transformed humans into zombie-like creatures known as the Infected, creating widespread panic and societal collapse. At the start of the crisis, Joel lost his daughter. Ellie also struggles with trauma; she was nearly killed by an infected, only escaping with a bite that reveals her immunity to the mutation.
The series is set two decades after the outbreak, but Joel is still processing his grief when he agrees to smuggle Ellie out of the quarantine zone. The series has a co-creator who is adept at handling the emotionally haunting material with Craig Mazinthe Emmy-winning showrunner behind HBO’s acclaimed historical drama Chernobyl. As Mazin directs an episode of the first season, he’s joined by an incredible cast of filmmakers who mirror the themes of the game.
iranian filmmaker Ali Abbassi broke out in a major way with his haunting dark fantasy film Frontierwhich featured incredible Oscar-nominated makeup and prosthetic designs for the film’s troll characters. Frontier explores how strangers deal with the grief of being hated by society and focuses on the horrors of a child pornography ring. This meant that Abbasi could weave elements of genre into a story about healing from trauma, which will obviously play a major role in The last of us.
Abbasi also won acclaim this year for his new film holy spider, another story of stigma and grief that follows an investigation into the murder of sex workers in Iran. Based on a true story, the film explores the female journalist Zar Amir Ibrahimi which tracks down the crimes of Saeed Hanaei, a true serial killer who was executed in 2002. The mix of thrilling thriller elements with gripping material means Abbasi is the perfect choice to direct The last of us‘ your complex.
In addition to nominated filmmakers like Abassi, The last of us also employed seasoned television directors. Jeremy Webb has worked on such acclaimed shows as The Umbrella Academy, Altered Carbon, Shadow & Boneand masters of sex.
He showed his ability to create haunting stories through his Frank Castle-focused episode (Jon Berntal) post-traumatic stress disorder in The Punisher, where he examined how the murder of the titular character’s family continues to haunt him; like Joel, Frank tries to return to his profession to ignore his grief. Webb also explored David Haller (Dan Stevens) mental illness in Legion; the x-men The spin-off series shows how trauma, anxiety, and discrimination turned Davis into an outsider, even amidst his newfound mutant allies.
Clearly, the writer and creative director of the original game is an obvious choice to ensure the series remains tonally consistent with its initial vision. The last of us was praised not just for its gameplay, but for its story and writing that felt truly cinematic. The game also showed that Druckmann could work with actors to bring the quality of performances to the screen; Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson brought the emotional intensity of a feature film. Druckmann showed his belief in a more dramatic adaptation during the development of a planned film adaptation produced by Sam Raimi; he refused to accept studio mandates to include more action sequences in place of emotional moments.
Another TV veteran with genre credits including The Umbrella Academy, Daredevil, Doctor Who, and The defenders, Pierre Hoar proved he could make an audience cry with the incredible miniseries It’s a sin. The miniseries chronicles the experiences of LGBT teenagers in the 1980s as they battle the AIDS crisis. While It’s a sin celebrates the beauty of these characters, it doesn’t shy away from how they faced discrimination and hate speech during the scariest time of their lives. Hoar’s experience showing the grief of younger characters will be especially important to Ellie’s portrayal in The last of us.
The last of us subverts many clichés in post-apocalyptic storytelling and recontextualizes familiar genre tropes in favor of a more realistic story. It’s something that the filmmaker Lisa Johnson knows how, exploring the deeply cynical root of American pop culture and military obsession in his satirical biopic Elvis and Nixon. The film compels President Nixon (Kevin Spacey) and “The King of Rock’n’Roll” (Michael Shannon) to recognize that they are no longer relevant in a changing nation. Additionally, Johnson has shown she can bring dark, reclusive antiheroes to life through her work on barry and Sneaky Pete.
bosnian filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic created one of the most “hard to watch” war movies in recent memory with Where are you going, Aida?, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best International Feature Film. The film explores the Srebrenica massacre through the eyes of a schoolteacher who watches both adults and children in her community being sent to their deaths. As The last of us, the film explores a dark reality through individual experience, which makes it even more heartbreaking and disturbing. Žbanić’s unwavering approach to the material, unfiltered depiction of violence is sure to set a somber tone to The last of us.
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The Last of Us Directors Are Perfect Choices To Adapt Heartbreaking Game – GameSpot