Hit video game ‘The Last of Us’ now an HBO series with Pedro Pascal

Hit video game ‘The Last of Us’ now an HBO series with Pedro Pascal

Showrunner Craig Mazin isn’t any stranger to taking bleak materials and turning it right into a crowd- pleasing hit.

Mazin, greatest identified for 2019’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning miniseries “Chernobyl,” now helms “The Final of Us,” a brand new dystopian drama on HBO.

“I’m an enormous fan of the sport,” Mazin, 51, advised The Submit, referring to the favored online game on which the present is predicated. “I performed it when it got here out in 2013. For video video games, it’s all the time good to see a state of affairs the place no person has any metaphysical or supernatural powers.

“The storyline … got here right down to this one relationship. It simply felt like there was a TV present in there, making an attempt to get out,” he mentioned. “However I assumed, ‘Whoever this [game creator] Neil Druckmann man is, he’s by no means going to let me close to it!’  Years later, I did ‘Chernobyl’ and I’m wanting round to search out out what my subsequent factor is. Neil [Druckmann] watched ‘Chernobyl’ and Shannon Woodward, who performs Dina within the second sport, form of set us up on a pleasant date. We hit it off immediately,” mentioned Mazin, who ended up co-creating “The Final of Us” with Druckmann.

Premiering Sunday, Jan. 15 at 9 p.m., the collection follows Joel (Pedro Pascal), a smuggler who’s tasked with escorting teen woman Ellie (Bella Ramsey, “Sport of Thrones”) throughout the US — which is now a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in “The Final of Us.” Liane Hentscher/HBO

“The Final of Us” co-creator and showrunner Craig Mazin. WireImage

Most of humanity has been worn out by a fungal an infection, which has turned the troubled into zombie-like creatures. The motion picks up in a model of Boston that’s a quarantine zone policed by navy forces. There’s additionally a mysterious insurgent group known as the Fireflies that believes Ellie may be the important thing to humanity’s survival. 

“We wished to search out somebody that the viewers had slightly little bit of buy-in with already, who they may form of latch onto,” Mazin mentioned of Pascal. “As a result of he’s going to be pulling you thru this difficult panorama with plenty of individuals coming out and in because the story progresses. And Pedro has this unimaginable mixture of old style masculinity and tough-guy exterior, however this wounded soul and ache and vulnerability within the eyes.

“Usually, you ship a script to an actor at that stage and three months later, they’re like ‘Oh yeah, any person else learn it and mentioned it was good. We must always meet.’ For Pedro, we despatched it to him, and the following morning I used to be on a Zoom with him. He learn it and was so into it. I used to be like, ‘That is superior.’”

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in “The Final of Us.” {Photograph} by Courtesy of HBO

Craig Mazin behind the scenes filming “The Final of Us.” Shane Harvey/HBO

Though Mazin is a fan of “Sport of Thrones,” he mentioned it’s “a complete coincidence” that his two leads, Pascal and Ramsey, have been each in that present.

Nevertheless, he mentioned he did really feel the burden of viewers expectations from followers of the sport. 

“The phrases ‘fanboy’ and ‘fangirl’ get thrown round generally as a pejorative. I believe the purpose is that they love ‘The Final of Us’ . Folks have tattooed dialogue from the sport on their our bodies, and so they’re terrified that any person goes to make it dangerous. I don’t blame them,” he mentioned.

“So, there was nice strain. However I had Neil by my aspect, who was by no means going to let me do something that will break the standard and the expertise of the sport and its place in tradition,” he mentioned. “And I adopted my very own coronary heart as a fan to say, ‘Listed here are issues we should see, listed below are issues that will be wonderful to be taught extra about, and listed below are some areas the place we’ve the liberty to do issues the sport didn’t have the latitude to get achieved.” 

Anna Torv and Pedro Pascal in “The Final of Us.” Liane Hentscher/HBO

Bella Ramsey and Anna Torv in “The Final of Us.” Liane Hentscher/HBO

Mazin declined to disclose what number of seasons of the present he has in thoughts. “Will I let you know concerning the plan? No. Hear, I don’t like crossing The New York Submit. I grew up on Staten Island,” he mentioned. “I don’t need to see my title in a type of wonderful headlines! However, I’ve been fascinated about [future seasons].” 

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