Latest ‘Last of Us’ News: HBO’s adaptation alters the game’s timeline and pays particular attention to the Cordyceps virus

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us
Image via HBO

HBO’s The Last of Us is right around the corner.

The highly-anticipated show is set to take some major risks, including changing up the established timeline from the games, but it’s stellar cast — and Neil Druckmann’s involvement — is giving fans hope. 

Any changes to the source material are bound to rankle fans, given the stellar material HBO has to work with, but a few of the changes coming to HBO’s interpretation of The Last of Us make sense for the show. Its shifted timeline, as well as its unique approach to the fungal virus at the story’s core, promise to upgrade — rather than lower — the quality of the adaptation. 

The show’s stars certainly seem on board. Early cast interviews showcase an enthusiastic team behind the project, many of whom had a wonderful time making the first season. Two of the show’s lead characters built a legitimate bond during the filming process, one that can only enhance their performances in the show.

Gabriel Luna and Pedro Pascal discovered a bromance during The Last of Us filming

HBO Max

Much of The Last of Us was developed during the worst of the pandemic, which left the cast with few opportunities to properly bond. Despite this, Gabriel Luna and Pedro Pascal — who are set to portray brothers Tommy and Joel — managed to discover a real-life bond. Working with the long-distance technology they had on-hand, the pair formed a genuine bond, and leaned on it throughout season one’s filming.

HBO’s The Last of Us will dig deep into fungus lore

Clicker - the Last of Us
The Last of Us 2/Naughty Dog

The Cordyceps virus at the core of The Last of Us story is a vital element of the games, and it might be even more important in the HBO adaptation. Show runner Craig Mazin revealed, in an interview, that the show aims to tie the Cordyceps virus into the larger themes of the story, and emphasize the lore behind the end of civilization as we know it.

Craig Mazin intends to change the timeline, and for good reason

The Last of Us show runner Craig Mazin plans to stay true to the soul of the Last of Us story, but that doesn’t mean he’s replicating the games exactly. He’s making a few changes to its many details, including the timeline. He plans to set the show in the present, meaning that the initial outbreak occurred in the past. By shifting the timeline, and setting the show in the same year it airs, Mazin hopes to keep that sense of realism intact.