The Last of Us, one of the most acclaimed video game series of all-time, is being turned into an HBO series. There’s a big star (Pedro Pascal), a big-name showrunner (Craig Mazin, formerly of the Emmy-winning miniseries Chernobyl), and a BIG budget.
“The Last of Us, which commences photography this week, is indeed a monster,” International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees 212 union president Damian Petti told CTV News (the show is being filmed in Alberta, Canada). “It has five art directors and employs an army of hundreds of technicians. It has had six months of prep and shoots for 12 months. I cannot confirm the official budget numbers, but will say it is likely the largest project shooting in Canada. This project well exceeds the eight-figure per episode mark, so there is a multiplier effect on our economy in terms of its impact. There are hundreds of related businesses benefitting from the plethora of work.”
Game of Thrones cost $15 million/per episode in its final season, meaning The Last of Us is likely in the $10-$20 million range. Pascal has expensive taste.
The Last of Us doesn’t have a sprawling (read: expensive) ensemble cast — Pascal’s Joel and Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, will be the only characters on screen for much of season one — but turning Canada into a wasteland of fungus dens, molotov cocktails, and monsters isn’t cheap. There are no dragons, but there are clickers. Lots of them.
(Via CTV News)