The post-apocalyptic tale of Joel and Ellie will make the jump to live-action after all. According to Deadline, The Last of Us’ cinematic adaptation will be distributed by Screen Gems — the studio behind the company’s evergreen Resident Evil series — with production support from Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures.
In a statement, Naughty Dog’s co-president Evan Wells outlined the creative vision for the film:
“Our partnership with Sam Raimi, Ghost House Pictures, and Screen Gems to develop a film based on The Last of Us universe is a perfect fit. Since our game released last June, we’ve talked with many companies about making a film, but we couldn’t have found better partners who share our creative vision and high standards.”
Having overseen development of The Last of Us, the game’s creative director Neil Druckmann will pen the script for the movie, with additional input from Bruce Straley and the rest of the Naughty Dog team. Since its release, the studio’s prestigious IP has swept the board in terms of awards, garnering a staggering 200 Game of the Year accolades from various institutions.
Set within a visceral, post-pandemic world, The Last of Us follows the atypical journey of Joel and Ellie across a barren North America. This dynamic, one which lends the narrative its emotional core, also bears resemblance to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road — itself adapted into a well-received drama — and underlines the cinematic qualities present within Naughty Dog’s magnum opus.
Elsewhere in the studio’s pixelated catalogue, Sony reportedly has plans to introduce the Uncharted franchise to the moviegoing audience as well, with Seth Gordon in talks to bring Nathan Drake to the silver screen. With not only that but also titles such as Minecraft receiving the greenlight, it seems game-to-film adaptations are regaining popularity, and Screen Gem’s interpretation of The Last of Us could well be the one to redeem the genre’s track record.