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6 things to know about the show The Last of Us
2023 is off to a great start with the long-awaited release of The Last of Us series, produced by the HBO channel. On the occasion of the TV show premiere, discover 6 things to know about this video game adaptation.
The TV show could be more expensive than Game of Thrones
By developing The Last of Us, HBO carries out its new major project. And for good reason, the American premium television network, which is used to big productions like Game of Thrones, Westworld or House of the Dragon, has seen things in a big way with this video game adaptation. The TV show, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, could easily exceed 10 million dollars per episode. According to CTV News, which covered the filming of the series in Alberta, Canada, The Last of Us could have a budget of a hundred million dollars, thus surpassing Game of Thrones.
Sam Raimi almost adapted the video game into a movie
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the TV show is far from being the first attempt at a live action adaptation of the video game. In 2014, director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man trilogy, Evil Dead trilogy) announced that he would adapt The Last of Us to the screen. He was joined by Neil Druckmann, the director and writer of the video game, for the script. Moreover, the two creators had approached Maisie Williams, the actress of Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, to play Ellie, the protagonist. But Sam Raimi wanted to make a World War Z style movie, which did not please Neil Druckmann who abandoned the adaptation project.
Jensen Ackles really wanted the role of Joel
The role of Joel in The Last of Us was particularly coveted by Hollywood stars. Actually, Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, The Boys), who is a big fan of Naughty Dog's video game, said that he tried to convince the HBO producers several times to be selected for the role of the main character. Even though they chose Pedro Pascal, the actor who plays Dean Winchester managed to be casted for another game-related project. According to him, the fans will find out soon enough...
The Last of Us voice actors play in the show
While the leads have been recast, several of the video game voice actors are returning for roles in HBO’s TV show adaptation. Troy Baker, the voice of Joel Miller in the video games created by Neil Druckmann, plays a major yet unknown role in The Last of Us. Similarly, Ashley Johnson, who performs the voice of Ellie, also appears in the series. Jeffrey Pierce, who plays Tommy, Joel's younger brother, plays Perry, a new character created for the show. Merle Dandrige, on the other hand, reprises the role of Marlene, the head of the Fireflies, in The Last of Us.
The creators asked Bella Ramsey not to play the video game
When a work is adapted for the screen, actors are often encouraged to read it or in this particular case to play the video game. For Bella Ramsey, who plays Ellie, it was the opposite! Directors Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann encouraged her not to be influenced by Naughty Dog's video games. However, if the 19-year-old actress followed their advice, she still watched some videos on YouTube to better understand the essence of the project.
The two main actors were stressed to play together
SIf the two stars have been brought to play in the same series, that is to say Game of Thrones, they never really had the chance to work together. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey told The Hollywood Reporter that they were a little apprehensive before the project actually started. Their first meeting was quite unusual since it was a Zoom call with the production about sexual harassment prevention. Pedro Pascal then reached out to his co-star’s mother to establish a working relationship. On the set, both actors were feeling the pressure of the large-scale project, which would have led them to develop anxiety. Fortunately, the actors of Joel and Ellie quickly found a certain complicity!
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