HBO’s zombie drama, The Last of Us, had an immensely successful first season, receiving outstanding ratings and garnering an impressive 24 Emmy nominations. The wider Hollywood community also embraced the series, solidifying its status as the most critically acclaimed video game adaptation to date.
However, as the show gears up for its second season, which will adapt The Last of Us Part II, a potential challenge arises. When Part II was released for PlayStation 4 in 2020, a significant portion of the fanbase expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the unexpected plot twists and turns. This dissatisfaction escalated to the point where lead developer Neil Druckmann received death threats. Despite these challenges, Druckmann now collaborates with Craig Mazin to produce the HBO show.
While we won’t divulge the specific twists and turns here, it’s important to note that if the audience’s reaction to the show mirrors their response to the game, the internet might become a hotbed of heated discussions. Mazin, however, approaches this with an open mind. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he stated, “I’m never gonna say there are things that are gonna happen in the show that happened in the game. You never know what we’re gonna do. But I will say that it is the adventure, the journey is the point. There are things that will shock people, things that were in the game, things that were not in the game, and that’s okay. As long as they’re purposeful, they’re not there to just simply shock. We are not interested in creating social media fear. We just want to tell the story the way we think it should be told.”
Bella Ramsey, who portrays Ellie in The Last of Us, faced backlash when she was initially cast for the role. However, Mazin emphasizes that Ramsey was the perfect choice and had to endure months of online vitriol until the critics saw what the production team saw. Mazin affirms that they don’t strive to appease social media or avoid upsetting people. They simply do what they believe is right and hope that the audience will join them on this journey and find enjoyment in it.
Regarding season 2, Mazin plans to approach the adaptation in the same manner as the first season, leveraging his expertise as a writer, director, and producer. He acknowledges that this is the only process he truly comprehends and acknowledges the success of the first season. Mazin expresses gratitude for his exceptional partners, emphasizing their humility, careful consideration of objections, and absence of ego or defensiveness. They consistently strive to enhance their work and support one another. Moving forward, Mazin intends to continue surprising fans of the game with their adaptation while ensuring that viewers who played the game won’t feel alienated by any narrative shifts in the second season.
However, fans will have to wait patiently for The Last of Us season 2, as the ongoing writers’ strike in Hollywood has now been joined by the actors’ strike. Until fair agreements are reached between the studios and the actors and writers, progress on the show remains at a standstill. Mazin shares his eagerness to return to work but acknowledges the unfortunate reality of having to wait.
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