The Last of Us Game Writer Says HBO Series Will Scale Back on Violence

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The first trailer for HBO's The Last of Us has been dropped and the footage from the highly anticipated live-action adaptation of the video game series only offers a glimpse at the future. However, fans shouldn't expect the new show to feature as much blood and gore as the Naughty Dog titles. Neil Druckmann confirmed that the upcoming adaptation will tone down the violence people have associated with the games.

There is no shortage of violence in The Last of Us when the player makes a mistake. Characters get killed in the most violent ways possible and it only makes sense that fans are expecting to see the same thing in the live-action adaptation. However, Neil Druckmann, who wrote the original game and is co-writing the upcoming HBO series, explains that violence was only necessary in the video games.

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“We need a certain amount of action, or violence, that we could use for mechanics so you could connect with Joel and get into a flow state,” Druckmann said in the upcoming issue of SFX magazine (via Gamesradar). "Then you would really feel like you’re connected with this on-screen avatar and you’re seeing the world through his eyes."

He then pointed out that the same doesn't apply to the HBO series.

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"But that doesn’t exist in a passive medium," Druckmann continued. "One of the things that I loved hearing from [co-creator Craig Mazin] and HBO very early on was, ‘Let’s take out all the violence except for the very essential.’ That allowed the violence to have even more impact than in the game, because when you hold on showing the threat and you’re seeing people’s reaction to a threat, that makes it scarier. And when we do reveal the infected and the Clickers, you get to see what brought down humanity and why everyone is so scared."

Despite the warning about violence being toned down in the show, people are still eager to see what happens in The Last of Us next month.

The Last of Us will premiere on HBO on January 15, 2023.

Related: The Last of Us HBO Series New Image Reveals Tragic Past of Joel