The Last Of Us: 5 Things To Know About The Hbo Phenomenon
Almost ten years after the release of the video game, The Last of Us is being adapted into a TV series by HBO and is coming to our screens on Prime Video, the Amazon platform. Here are 5 things to know about this series that is already creating a stir.
1- This series is an adaptation of a video game
Anyone unfamiliar with the video game world may not know this, but The Last of Us is the adaptation of the video game of the same name. This game caused a stir when it was released in 2013 due to its quality aesthetics and emotionally charged storyline.
The multi-award winning title has sold 17 million copies worldwide. With such success, this survivalist adventure game offered material for a TV series adaptation. The result, available since January 16, 2023 on Amazon Prime Video, does not disappoint.
2- The series follows the narrative of the game
In both the TV series and the game, the story takes place in a world ravaged by a fungus that colonizes humans and turns them into killer zombies.
The Last of Us series begins in 2003, when the first cases of contamination appear, before skipping a 20-year time span. Two decades later, modern civilization is gone and the survivors are parked in quarantine zones.
Joel, a man broken by life, has become a black market trafficker. This seasoned survivor is hired to help Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, escape from a quarantine zone and to escort her across the United States.
What was supposed to be a small job for him will turn into an emotional adventure. In this journey across the country, the two protagonists will only be able to rely on each other to survive.
3- The actors are perfect
If the adaptation of The Last of Us into a TV series is so successful, it is first of all thanks to its creative duo: Neil Druckmann, the creator of the game took the reins of this adaptation with Craig Mazin, a director who has already made his mark as creator and writer of the mini-series Chernobyl.
But it's also thanks to the wise choice of actors to play the two heroes. Since the story is primarily about Joel and Ellie, it was crucial to find two experienced actors.
Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal, seen in Game of Thrones and The Mandalorian, credibly portrays the 56-year-old (while he himself is only 47).
Alongside him, 19-year-old actress Bella Ramsey lends her features to the young Ellie. The young actress is not new to the role as she previously played Lyanna Mormont, an iron-fisted clan leader, in Game of Thrones!
The complicity between the two actors explains in large part the success of this series that skillfully mixes horror and emotion, action and feelings, with a welcome touch of humor from the sassy Ellie, as we can see in the trailer below:
4- The series goes further than the game in developing the narrative
No doubt that the many fans of The Last of Us game will be won over by this TV adaptation!
Not only does the TV series remain perfectly faithful to the video game's storyline, but it goes even further in the storytelling, fleshing out the roles of some secondary characters that were merely hinted at in the game.
Faces well known to fans of TV series (like Anna Torv seen in Fringe or Murray Bartlett seen in Welcome to Chippendales) come to life in a world less dark than one might fear. The plot, very well constructed, does not constantly take place in a ruined world but offers, throughout this journey and the seasons, contrasting landscapes that avoid falling into a gloomy and monotonous atmosphere.
Thus, each episode has its own singularity. Incidentally, it should be noted that this event series is released on Amazon Prime Video as it goes along, at the rate of one episode every Monday, following the American programming.
5- The TV series has boosted video game sales
Since its arrival in France on Amazon Prime Video on January 16, 2023, The Last of Us series has been so phenomenally successful that it has boosted sales of the video game.
In the UK, sales of The Last Of Us Part I saw a 238% increase, so much so that the game went straight to number 20 on last week's sales chart.
The remastered version on Playstation 4 saw an even more spectacular 322% increase! This is the patched version of the original game released on PS4 on July 30, 2014.
The same phenomenon occurred in all countries where the series is released, starting with the United States and France. On the other hand, it is difficult to say whether the buyers are nostalgic people who have played this video game in the past or new players seduced by the HBO series...