In 2023, everyone is going to be talking about The Last Of Us.
Whether you’ve immersed yourself in the action-adventure game set in a not-too-distant apocalypse via console or not, its memorable characters and thrilling storyline are primed to take over our small screens in 2023 thanks to HBO’s buzzed-about adaption. The new series boasts a couple of Game of Thrones veterans and is helmed by the showrunner who made Chernobyl an Emmy-winning hit and the game’s creator Neil Druckmann. But even those stats don’t diminish the feat this series is trying to accomplish. Video games are notoriously tricky to translate on-screen, even with plots as absorbing as Naughty Dog’s survival epic. Fan expectations are high, as are HBO’s hopes that The Last of Us might just become their next Game of Thrones-esque streaming centerpiece.
The first of the show’s ten episodes is set to drop January 15th on HBO with weekly installments airing on Sundays.
Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian, Game of Thrones) is set to play Joel, the reluctant surrogate father to Bella Ramsey’s (Game of Thrones) Ellie. While Joel is stoic and seemingly uncaring of anyone but himself, Ellie is a fearless and wide-eyed teenager burdened with an unimaginable savior complex. The two often butt heads in the game, but their contentious relationship soon evolves into a visceral bond that should make for good drama on the HBO series. They’re joined by a cast of recognizable names like Nick Offerman (Parks & Rec) and Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus) who play an eccentric survivalist couple Joel turns to for help in transporting Ellie to the rebel group. Euphoria’s Storm Reid plays Ellie’s best friend-turned-love-interest Riley while Anna Torv (Mindhunter) plays Tess, Joel’s smuggling partner and sometimes girlfriend. Rounding out the cast are Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets) and Merle Dandridge, who reprises her role from the games as Marlene, the leader of The Fireflies.
The series is primed to follow the storyline from the first game released all the way back in 2013. Spanning a succinct 10 episodes, fans will follow two survivors of a pandemic that decimated the United States 20 years earlier. This “virus” was actually a species of fungi that infected anyone who breathed its spores, turning humans into feral zombie-like creatures known collectively as the Infected. With humankind nearly extinct, martial law has been put into effect with heavy military surveillance and suppression tactics put in place in quarantine zones that home non-infected citizens. Joel is a hardened smuggler living in one such zone in Boston who agrees to the dangerous job of transporting a young teen named Ellie across the country for a rebel group known as The Fireflies. Ellie is immune to the fungi and may be humanity’s best chance at finding a cure, but the pair face enemies — living and dead — that make finding the rebel’s home base near-impossible.
You can watch the full trailer for the series below:
‘The Last Of Us’ premieres on HBO on January 15.