The premiere of The Last of Us is finally coming this Sunday and there is little doubt that people are already looking forward to the live-action adaptation of the Naughty Dog game. But why go with a TV series instead of a full-length feature film? Game co-creator and co-showrunner Neil Druckmann explains why a movie simply won't work for the game's story.
It's no secret that The Last of Us was initially supposed to get two film adaptations. However, the projects were stuck in development hell and it was believed that the adaptations would be scrapped. Luckily, it was later confirmed that the project would be made into a TV show instead and Neil Druckmann signed on to work on the scripts and serve as one of the executive producers.
So what exactly happened to the planned film adaptations? Neil Druckmann told Variety that the series adaptation would work better for the scope of The Last of Us and allow them to fully cover Joel and Ellie's story.
"The short answer is that the story is too long," Druckmann said. "We tried to make it into a movie, and it did not work because what is usually a 15-hour experience and compressing it down into two hours, it didn’t work and there is always something else that is popping out I felt was important to the story."
He then pointed out why the series adaptation worked better for the story.
"This time around it allowed us to take our time and have a slow burn with the relationship between Joel and Ellie, over a year-long journey that could have only been adapted into a TV show," Druckmann said.
It was certainly the right call and fans will get to truly explore the story beyond the gameplay. Needless to say, we can't wait for the show's premiere.
The Last of Us will premiere on HBO on January 15, 2023.