Travelling from a near-apocalyptic Ukraine to a post-apocalyptic United States, Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin has been tapped to produce a TV series based on the PlayStation game The Last of Us. The writer and creative director of the game itself, Neil Druckmann, will also be involved. The Last of Us was a wild success when it was released; it holds a 95 on Metacritic, indicating “Universal Acclaim”. Sales were also good, with the game having sold 17 million copies by 2018.
The Last of Us was released in 2013, with a “remastered” version coming out in 2014 specifically for the PlayStation 4. The Last of Us is also getting a sequel coming out in May 2020. The series will adapt the first game, although elements from the sequel may also be included. Mazin himself is actually a fan of the game and expressed admiration for Druckmann’s storytelling abilities in video games. There was a lot of speculation about what Mazin could possibly do next in TV after the wild success of Chernobyl; the answer is still grim, but decidedly more nerdy and speculative.
TV series based on video games are starting to become a popular concept (if not yet an active reality). Showtime is developing a Halo series, and Sony Pictures Television is developing a show based off of Final Fantasy. Video game movies will always be a thing (and one hard to pull off). You have to wonder, though: with high-profile names like Mazin backing an adaptation of one of the most beloved video games of the past decade, will there be a surge in these video game shows?
Mazin is staying busy. In film, he’s working on a Pirates of a Caribbean reboot with Disney and Ted Elliott. Mazin also wrote the most recent draft for another video game adaptation, the Borderlands film, to be directed by Eli Roth. Mazin was also attached to yet another genre project, the Cowboy Ninja Viking film adaptation of the comics. However, the project was indefinitely halted in 2018. Hopefully for The Last of Us fans, the series gets a smooth trip through the development process, and we’ll see it on HBO soon enough.