Skip to main content

Two award-winning directors join The Last of Us TV show

The Last of Us
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

HBO has revealed that Oscar nominee Jasmila Žbanić and Ali Abbasi are on board to direct The Last of Us TV show.

Žbanić’s latest film, Quo vadis, Aida has been nominated for the Best International Film Feature Oscar at the upcoming Academy Awards, and recently won the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best International Film (thanks, Deadline). 

Abbasi, too, is an award winner, having previously secured the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard Award for his 2018 film, Border.

Both join Kantemir Balagov, who is scheduled to direct Sony Picture Television's pilot episode of The Last Of Us.

We recently discovered Gabriel Luna will play Tommy, the younger brother of The Last of Us' Joel. Luna's previous roles include parts in Terminator: Dark Fate, True Detective, and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD.

Luna joins The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal as Joel and Game of Thrones' Bella Ramsey as Ellie. Pascal signing onto the project also came with what's called a "first position deal", meaning his commitment to The Last of Us takes precedence over any of his other projects (The Mandalorian included). 

The series will start filming this July in Canada, and looks set to be a lengthy process: production reportedly won't finish until June 2022. Craig Mazin, creator of HBO's Chernobyl, will write and executive produce the series with the video game's writer and creative director Neil Druckmann. Druckmann has previously said that the series won't always follow the games: "Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can't wait for people to see them".

The Last of Us doesn't yet have a release date, but while you wait, check out our guide to the best video game movies of all time.

Vikki Blake
Vikki Blake

Writer. Guardian. Spartan. Silent Hillian. Little Sister. High Chaos. I also write for other fine places including the BBC, Eurogamer, and, and have a weekly games column at NME.