HBO’s The Last of Us could be the show that conclusively breaks the curse of the video game adaptation. These have traditionally been regarded as disappointing experiences that fail to capture what made the games so special. This curse is gradually breaking though, with the Halo series moving in the right direction by using the games as inspiration rather than simply retelling the story.
But The Last of Us games have very strong narratives and characters that should make for a compelling TV drama. HBO certainly agrees, with this show their highest-budgeted ever and the location shoot taking roughly a year to complete. So far everything we’ve seen has been lifted straight from the game, though new images suggest we’ll see a key alteration to Joel and Ellie’s voyage:
The Pittsburgh chapter of the game sees Joel and Ellie ambushed by bandits and having to fight their way through the ruined city. This takes them through the Hotel Grand, the Financial District, and their encounter with Henry and Sam (who we’ve seen in recent images from the set).
Changing this location to Kansas City shouldn’t change the plot, though it’s unknown why the change needs to be made at all. Perhaps the Canadian location shoot simply wouldn’t pass as Pittsburgh on camera so the decision was made to go with Kansas City as the architecture was more similar.
Whatever the case, these images continue to tease an excellent show. The only frustrating thing is the extended wait to see it. The shoot is expected to finish in June 2022, meaning it won’t premiere until 2023. Fingers crossed it’s worth the wait.