HBO’s television adaptation of The Last of Us is not just some cheap tie-in – apparently it could be the “largest project” shooting in Canada right now. That’s according to IATSE 212 president Damian Petti, who’s in charge of the group responsible for attracting Hollywood crews to Alberta. Speaking with Forbes, he elaborated that – while he obviously can’t disclose specifics – “this project well exceeds the eight figure per episode mark”.
While it’s unclear whether he’s referring to Canadian dollars or US dollars – presumably the former – it would still put the project in the reach of Game of Thrones, which reportedly ramped up to $15 million (USD) per episode for its final season. “The Last of Us which commences photography this week is indeed a monster,” he said in an interview with CTV News. “It has five art directors and employs an army of hundreds of technicians. It has had six months of prep and shoots (in Alberta) for 12 months.”
Work is currently underway transforming parts of Fort Macleod to accommodate the series, with shop fronts being altered by artists. But it’s all work that natives are welcoming due to the injection it’s bringing to the local economy: “We believe in the economic benefits and the diversification needed in Alberta and filming is definitely one of the ways to make that happen,” the town’s Chief Administrative Officer Sue Keenan said.
This is going to be big.