We almost got a Last of Us prequel starring Ellie's mom

Ashley Johnson as Anna in The Last of Us
(Image credit: HBO)

Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann has revealed that, at one point, there were plans for a Last of Us prequel starring Ellie's mom, Anna.

Before we go any further, here's a quick spoiler warning for The Last of Us season one finale. Only minor story spoilers will be discussed, but if you haven't seen the last episode of the show and want to go in completely fresh, turn back now.

The Last of Us Part 2

(Image credit: Sony)

In the final episode of The Last of Us HBO's first season, we meet a character we'd only ever heard mentioned in the games: Anna, Ellie's biological mother. Though her time on the show is brief, it's incredibly impactful, especially since she's portrayed by the same actor who played Ellie in the games, Ashley Johnson. Well, now that Anna is fresh on everyone's minds, Druckmann has revealed that she almost starred in her own Last of Us spinoff game.

"There was some stuff written for the mom and dad when we were talking to this other game studio to potentially do a whole Anna game," Druckmann said during a press conference which Variety attended. "I'm reluctant to say anything about it, because as I've now found out several times, stories that I think are failures and will never see the light of day, sometimes see the light of day."

In addition to a spinoff video game, Druckmann also revealed that an animated short was in the works and that a script had already been written.

"I wrote this short script about Ellie's mom, and how she gave birth to Ellie and was bitten at the same time — and wasn't sure if she was infected during that birth," Druckmann said. "And it became this little character drama that spoke to the same themes of parental love for their child and how much you’re willing to do, even when you're on death's door."

Anna's story is indeed fascinating and illuminating, explaining at long last exactly how Ellie became immune to the cordyceps infection that turns people into monsters. A prequel or animated short surely would've explained even more about Ellie and her past, and although it doesn't look likely that either project ever actually happens, Druckmann definitely seems to be leaving the door open.

In the meantime, here are some games like The Last of Us to scratch a similar itch.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.