Once linked with a film adaptation, post-apocalyptic action-adventure "The Last of Us" is now set for a new life as an HBO series, via the game's creative director and a writer and creator of "Chernobyl."
Craig Mazin of nuclear meltdown drama "Chernobyl" and Neil Druckmann of acclaimed PlayStation video game "The Last of Us" are collaborating on a TV adaptation of the game for HBO, per an announcement made through The Hollywood Reporter.
Mazin, who wrote the second two "Hangover" movies as well as "Scary Movie" numbers three and four, won two Emmy Awards for his work on 2019's five-parter "Chernobyl."
Whereas that tour-de-force was based on the 1986 nuclear reactor disaster near Pripyat, Ukraine, "The Last of Us" has its roots in a more biological form of apocalypse, inspired by the Cordyceps fungus and its interactions with ant populations.
Released in 2013 for PlayStation 3 and then again in 2014 for PlayStation 4, "The Last of Us" was an emotional, high-tension adventure set in a USA ruined by a deadly fungal outbreak.
Once infected, human hosts mutate and become focused on transmitting their foul contamination.
Rough smuggler Joel is charged with escorting Ellie, a teenager who appears to have a natural immunity to the infection.
Together, they set out on a long and dangerous journey from the east coast to a sanctuary city several thousand kilometers away.
"The Last of Us" helped pioneer a deeper and more impactful style of storytelling in the video game medium, winning armfuls of accolades as a result; Mazin, meanwhile, is already on board another adaptation, having signed up for Lionsgate's "Borderlands" movie.
Popular fan suggestions for the two lead roles have included Hugh Jackman ("Logan" and the other X-Men movies) and Nicolaj Coster-Waldau ("Game of Thrones," "Small Crimes") for Joel, and Kaitlyn Dever ("Unbelievable," "Booksmart") for Ellie.
This HBO series is understood to replace plans for a "Last of Us" movie, according to IGN's insider sources at Sony Pictures.
The film was announced in 2014 with Sam Raimi of the "Evil Dead" franchise attached, but appeared to have been put to one side by 2016.
Now, Sony's dedicated video game adaptation label PlayStation Productions is to make "The Last of Us" its first TV series, per THR, putting it ahead of announced plans for car wars franchise "Twisted Metal."
PlayStation Productions has also attached Tom Holland to a movie version of "Uncharted," another franchise developed by the "Last of Us" studio.
There's no date or timeline suggested for the "Last of Us" movie, though a long-awaited sequel, "The Last of Us 2," is due on PlayStation 4 from May 29, 2020.