We don't know if The Last of Us HBO series will have a role for the actor who brought Joel's in-game performance to life, but it does have his blessing.
Troy Baker, who plays Joel in The Last of Us and The Last of Us 2, spoke to Fandom about the upcoming TV series. While Baker said he hasn't had much involvement in the show, he is excited to see it coming together. He admitted he was doubtful about the planned Last of Us movie adaptation with Sam Raimi before it was quietly canceled - specifically fitting all that story into two hours - and now he's fully on board for the HBO series with Chernobyl writer Craig Mazin.
“The thing that encourages me most [about the HBO show] is that while there were a lot of people in Hollywood that stood up and took notice [of The Last of Us and its success] and were thinking, ‘Oh, a lot of people like this - we should turn it into a movie’, Craig came at it from a fan’s perspective," Baker said. "He just wants everybody to know this experience”.
Baker says that Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann gave him the heads up that an HBO series was in the works. Even before the announcement, Baker said he and Mazin were sliding into each other's Twitter DMs to express their mutual admiration.
Even so, Baker still feels the best way to experience The Last of Us will always be with a controller in hand. It's a noble goal to let people experience Joel and Ellie's story even if they can't experience it, but Baker brought up one specific moment that couldn't be replicated in a movie or a TV show.
“At the end of the day, man, the reason that it’s a game is because when you go from fall into winter - after Joel falls, and you think he’s dead, and you see that beautiful bunny on that pristine white snow, and the arrow… and then you notice for the first time that it’s Ellie by herself, standing there, and you push forward on the analogue stick - that is something that just doesn’t translate to any other medium but a game.”
It's rough out there - here's our guide on how to avoid The Last of Us 2 spoilers. We're still super pumped for the game though and would advise you to check out the latest Last of Us 2 pre-order prices if you've not got your copy ready for day one.