The last of us is the television adaptation of the video game of the same name that has become a real phenomenon in recent weeks. The story follows Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) on a journey through post-apocalyptic America that will change their lives forever. GlobeLiveMedia spoke with HBO and HBO Max series creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, and stars Merle Dandridge and Gabriel Luna.
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Mazin, known to be the mind behind Chernobylhas always confessed to feeling “insecure” about everything in his life: “Did I make it the best version possible? Is there a way to do it? And even much better? Did I miss something, did I forget something This fear… Sometimes my mind goes too (fast) and it backfires, but lately what it does more than anything is be careful.
“I try to be as much as possible and when you face something like The last of us, which I know how much it means to people because it means to me too since I played it, care and attention is how you make sure you don’t do anything less than it deserves “, adds the American writer and director. “If I thought I knew everything or was right all the time, it probably wouldn’t have ended up being a good show.”
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For Druckmann, director of the game developed by Naughty Dog, it was great news to know that he would be working with Craig Mazin and HBO. Not only did they bring this story to life, but they never left out the people involved in the process of creating the source material, “what it took to create The last of us like a video game, knowing that I should be involved as a writer, creator and director with Naughty Dog”.
“They got their hands dirty to make the series as authentic as possible. From artists and sound designers to character design,” he continues and concludes with great enthusiasm: “I think this will be the most authentic adaptation of ‘one video game so far.’ The latter he mentions isn’t usual in the genre of video game adaptations, but – so far – HBO has managed to hit the nail on the head.
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Merle Dandridge found it surprising and moving to be considered for the HBO adaptation despite even having a television career. Ten years ago, the actress played Marlene, the leader of the Fireflies, in the PlayStation video game. Being able to reprise this role meant being able to take the character to another space and love it like the first time.
“Growing into her, being physically prepared and more appropriate to play her on the show, having this new look and this new perspective with new actors and writers…or I wouldn’t say a new script, but something that was developed at from that,” she says. “I felt that my work was a free point and very pleasant, sometimes it drove me crazy, because it put her in new shoes, but ultimately it was a huge honor and privilege to be able to take on this role.”
On the other hand, Gabriel Luna is one of the new stars who have joined this journey of The last of us on the small screen. He remembers playing it in 2013, the year it was released, and says to himself: “You never dreamed of being a character in a game you played ten years ago, it’s kinda wild.”
Moreover, he worked very closely with Pedro Pascal, his older brother in fiction. “The chemistry was natural off the set,” he says, adding that it was necessary to establish a bond of brothers with certain differences that support each other because they are the only family they have: “Put this spirit of brothers in crisis with the one they have to look after and be next to each other. And at the same time play fair with each other because that’s all we have. We’ve definitely built it as we go. and as you go.
These differences and similarities with the original plot make The last of us a series that has already achieved success on television around the world. More characters are deepened or scenes are added so that the narrative does not lose its essence. There are a lot of novelties in the episodes and also some very particular references for those who know the game.
“We’ll take you to places you haven’t experienced in the game. You’ll meet people you haven’t met in the game and we’ll even fill in interesting story elements that haven’t been told. Everything is integrated, of course, everything feels in one piece (…) I think whether you have played it or not, there will always be something that will hold you at the end of your seat, ”concludes Craig Mazin.
The sixth episode of The last of us will launch on Sunday, January 19 on HBO and the HBO Max platform.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.
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