The Last Of Us: Craig Mazin On Adapting 'The Greatest Story Ever ... - Empire

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For decades now, it’s been evident that translating video games into riveting movies and bid is nary casual feat. While determination are a fistful of occurrence stories (notably animated bid Arcane, and the container office-smashing Sonic movies), determination are countless clunkers retired determination that person struggled to marque the astir of the root material. If there’s nary azygous crushed wherefore it proves truthful hard, determination is simply a prevailing theory: portion games are designed to beryllium amusive to play, they don’t ever person the aforesaid level of communicative nuance required of a movie oregon a deed TV series.

Until now. If thing looks acceptable to interruption the curse and present a surface adaptation that’s arsenic gripping to ticker arsenic it is to play, it’s The Last Of Us – HBO’s instrumentality connected Naughty Dog’s ultra-acclaimed apocalyptical endurance drama. Not lone bringing successful crippled writer/director Neil Druckmann, but teaming him with Chernobyl showrunner Craig Mazin, the signifier is acceptable for thing special. “It’s an open-and-shut case: this is the top communicative that has ever been told successful video games,” Mazin tells Empire successful the caller Greatest Actors issue.

That communicative is 1 of marauding coral-zombies, an America laid to waste, and a communicative of surrogate fathers and daughters – arsenic smuggler Joel (here played by The Mandalorian himself, Pedro Pascal) and mouthy teen Ellie (Game Of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey) traverse the treacherous remains of the USA. Those characters should beryllium cardinal to the series’ success. “They didn’t sprout thing retired of their eyeballs,” says Mazin connected what made the crippled work. “They were conscionable people. And that, successful and of itself, is remarkably uncommon successful games. The information that they kept it truthful grounded, and truly made you feel – I had ne'er experienced thing similar it, and I’ve been playing video games since 1977.”

With the close showrunners successful place, stellar casting, and the mightiness of HBO down it all, the effect looks acceptable to beryllium a bid that remains faithful to the games, but with a spot of wiggle country for exploration and evolution. “Games themselves are often superb to play, and not astatine each superb to ticker erstwhile dramatised,” argues Mazin. “Neil and I ever knew to ask, ‘Why are we only doing what’s successful the game? What tin we bash to expand?’” The top communicative ever told successful video games mightiness conscionable go 1 of the top stories ever told connected TV.

Empire – February 2023

Read Empire’s afloat The Last Of Us communicative successful the February 2023 issue – connected merchantability Thursday 22 December, and available to pre-order online here. The Last Of Us comes to Sky Atlantic and NOW from 16 January.

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