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The Last of Us TV show: Everything we know so far about the HBO series

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The Last of Us TV show is in development – and it has its two leads now, too, so the wheels are very much in motion over at HBO. With Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey on board as Joel and Ellie, it's safe to say there are plenty of exciting names attached to the series, both in front of and behind the camera. Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin is teaming up with Naughty Dog's Neil Druckman to run the show, while Gustavo Santaolalla is on board as the series' composer.

Production on the video game adaptation may not have begun yet, but, while we wait, we've put together this handy guide to see you though – including everything from a full list of confirmed characters to casting news and the official plot synopsis. Read on to find out everything we know so far about The Last of Us TV show.

HBO hasn't announced a The Last of Us release date, but filming starts in July

(Image credit: Sony)

We don't have a release date for The Last of Us HBO series just yet, but we do have a few details that give us an idea of how long we'll be waiting. Collider recently reported that the series is due to start filming in July of 2021, with production likely lasting all the way to June of the following year.

That means we shouldn't expect to see the series land on HBO until late 2022, at the very earliest. With the COVID pandemic still creating a lot of uncertainty about the future of filming schedules, there's always the possibility of a scheduling delay, so it's best to temper expectations for now.

The Last of Us HBO series story: "enhanced" but will it adapt both games?

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

So far, only a synopsis has been officially revealed by HBO: "The story takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival."

As revealed by The Hollywood Reporter in early March, the series will "cover the events of the original game… with the possibility of additional content based on the forthcoming game sequel [The Last of Us 2]."

A separate report from the publication indicates that "future seasons" are a possibility, meaning this is unlikely to be a Chernobyl-style miniseries but instead one that will stretch out over several years. The mention of sequel story beats also making their way into the HBO series should also whet the appetite of many with the game due out shortly.

Co-creator Craig Mazin has also hinted that The Last of Us HBO series may be a more definitive version of the game's story, telling the BBC, "In this case, I’m doing it with [Neil Druckmann], and so the changes that we're making are designed to fill things out and expand, not to undo, but rather to enhance." In the same interview, he added that the TV series will include a moment not in the games that will make our jaws drop.

(Image credit: Sony)

So, how do you adapt one of the most beloved games of all time? Carefully, probably. 

The Last of Us creative director Neil Druckmann has briefly touched upon the challenges of bringing the game's story across to HBO in an interview with EW.

"You have to figure out [with a TV show] how it communicates ideas or tells stories. In removing the interactivity of the story, how do you make it unique for this other medium? It's an interesting challenge, and I think there's a lot to learn from it... Craig [Mazin] had ideas about how to adapt the show, it became intriguing to work with another creative who I admire. It just became a no-brainer - and to do it under the umbrella of HBO and all their content."

Troy Baker, who plays Joel in both The Last of Us and its sequel, has full faith in the story adaptation versus the original plans to turn it into a movie.

"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 [Mazin] came at it from a fan's perspective," Baker told Fandom in a recent interview. "He just wants everybody to know this experience."

The Last of Us cast: every confirmed character so far

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The Last of Us TV show has its Joel – The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal, AKA television's favorite dad, will be taking on the series' lead male role and Troy Baker, the actor behind Joel in the video game, has given the casting decision his seal of approval. "This IS the way. Full support. Full stop. Can’t wait for you to show me a side of Joel I never knew, Pedro," he posted on Instagram.

Pascal will be joined by fellow Game of Thrones alumni Bella Ramsey as Ellie, which seems an ideal fit. With her role as the fan-favorite Lady Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones, Ramsey has already proven herself more than capable of playing a fierce, confident, show-stealing character. 

As for the other, so far uncast roles, we know the leading duo will be joined by Ellie's Left Behind girlfriend, Riley, as well as Tess, Marlene, Maria, and a redacted character with four letters – which very well could be *mild spoilers for The Last of Us 2* Abby, a member of the WLF.

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Mazin also assuaged fears that characters will not change from their game counterparts by stating that Ellie will remain LGBTQ.

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Alongside the cast of characters and director is a certain composer. Gustavo Santaolalla will be scoring the HBO series, just as he did with the first two games.

That's everything we know so far about The Last of Us HBO series. For something to watch now, make sure to check out the best Netflix shows currently streaming. 

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