The Last of Us’ hotly anticipated television adaptation, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, will see some episodes “deviate greatly” from the PlayStation 3 game – despite lifting dialogue directly from the original script. Speaking to IGN as part of SXSW 2021, the Naughty Dog boss explained that the HBO adaptation will cover the events of the first title – but there will be some tweaks along the way.
“Things sometimes stay pretty close. It’s funny to see my dialogue there from the games in HBO scripts,” he said. “And sometimes they deviate greatly to much better effect because we are dealing with a different medium. Some of my favourite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can’t wait for people to see them.”
He continued: “For example, in the game, there’s so much action you have to train the player about mechanics. You have to have more violence and more spectacle to some degree than you would need on a TV show because you don’t need to train people on how to use a gun. So that’s something that’s been really different, and HBO’s been great in pushing us to move away from hardcore action and focus more on the drama of the character.”
Despite the tweaks and alterations, Druckmann insists that the “the philosophical underpinnings of the story” will be retained. “As far as the superficial things, like should [a character] wear the same plaid shirt or the same red shirt? They might or might not appear in it, that’s way less important to us than getting the core of who these people are and the core of their journey,” he explained.
As for when the show will begin filming, it sounds like good progress is being made behind-the-scenes: “I just saw the first prosthetic test for the Clicker and it’s awesome. It’s so rad to see this thing come to physical life.”