Will the Last of Us join the wasteland that is undelivered movie tie-ins?

Get this: Sony has just registered the domains TheLastOfUsMovie.net and TheLastOfUs-Movie.com (TheLastOfUsMovie.com was already taken, unfortunately). Before everyone gets excited or despairs about Joel and Ellie taking the silver screen, we have to keep in mind that this is a movie. And given the track record of video game to movie adaptations, the project is unlikely to move forward any time soon.

See, the road to silver screen success is littered with half-starts and hiccups, especially when high-profile franchises are on the line. Take, for instance, the fates of the BioShock and Halo movies. The tentative Bioshock baby was strangled by fights about budget even before production lifted off the ground. Gore Verbinski, who was slated to direct the project, wanted to do the IP justice by making it an R-rated movie. Universal Studios was more concerned about profits--and given the flop of the then-recent R-rated, big-budget film Watchmen, the company was none too keen to give Verbinski a budget anywhere near his request. Instead of pumping out a low-budget, B-rated Bioshock movie, Ken Levine himself stepped in and axed the project. Done. Gone.

And then there's the Halo project that Microsoft can't quite seem to let go of. Even with the power of Peter Jackson, Fox, and Microsoft behind it, directors have been bowing out left and right. Among them was Neil Blomkamp of Elysium and District 9. When asked why he was leaving the fledgling project, Blomkamp said “The fans expect something, and the fans deserve something. If a fan has being playing Halo for 10 years, they deserve that version of Halo. Whatever the idea is that that they have in their mind, they deserve that, and I’m not sure I can provide it.” So then, Halo’s issues is the idea that no one can do it well enough to please the demanding fan base.

Some movies don't even get that far. See, there’s that small fact that production companies typically register domains like they eat potato chips; I don’t know where I’m going with this metaphor. In this particularly category, you could throw the names of Assassin's Creed, Duke Nukem, InFamous, The Sims, Prey, Far Cry, Metroid, and many, many more. Long story short, they snatch up domain names, put out feelers, and/or commissions scripts, all in pursuit of giving themselves options, just in case.

So yes, I know that it’s very exciting that Sony has registered these domains for a movie based on The Last of Us. I know that it's great to daydream and muse about what a movie worthy of retelling Naughty Dog’s story would be like. Just don’t get your hopes up that anything will happen in the way you’ve dreamt. Or that anything will happen at all.

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