This “The Last of Us” Set Visit Reveals a Peek at HBO’s Biggest Swing in 2023
As we wrote yesterday, HBO’s The Last of Us is one of the biggest series coming out in 2023 and probably the most ambitious new show from the network since House of the Dragon. And while it would be unfair to set the expectations for The Last of Us at Game of Thrones levels, the hopes for the new series aren’t that far off from that. A new behind-the-scenes look released by HBO lets you visit The Last of Us set, which was adapted by Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, the man behind the original video game (a commercial and critical smash hit) for Naughty Dog.
The Last of Us is set in post-apocalyptic America and centered on a tough-as-nails survivor named Joel (Pedro Pascal) who is tasked with moving some “cargo” out of the Quarantine Zone. That cargo happens to have a name, Ellie (Bella Ramsey), and the journey that Joel and Bella embark on across a mutilated, murderous landscape is the thrust of season one. In the new video, you get to hear from Pascal, Ramsey, Druckmann, and Mazin about what it took to bring Druckmann’s beloved, brooding video game to life.
The set visit includes a look at what happens to human beings after they’re infected with the fungus that has turned the world into a hellscape. “Viruses can make us ill,” one talking head says in the series, “but fungi can alter our very minds.” This leads to the money shot at the 0:34 second mark, where we see what Joel and Bella are up against; what was once a human being, captured by the marauding fungi, who is now, simply put, a monster.
The set visit gives us some insight into who Joel is. “Joel is a broken man,” Mazin says, “he’s a father who has experienced loss.” That loss was Joel’s inability to save his own daughter, Sarah (Nico Parker), which is the event that shapes the rest of his life. So, when Joel, a black-market smuggler, is given the job of transporting Ellie to a group that is hoping to develop a vaccine for mankind, he’s so broken that he looks at it as just another job. Chances are, however, that will change as he and Ellie have to stick together to stay alive.
Take your set visit below to find out more about what might be the next big hit for HBO. The Last of Us premieres on HBO on January 15.
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Featured image: Anna Torv and Pedro Pascal in “The Last of Us.” Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO