Before it became a TV show starring Pedro Pascal and Bella RamseyThe Last of Us video game was set to become a movie. However, it never happened.

In 2014, video game fans rejoiced when the game was set to hit the big screen and Sam Raimi was named as the director. Years later, the game adaptation took a different route when it made its way to HBO as a show premiering in January 2023.

But what went wrong with the film? Keep reading for all the details. 

Is ‘The Last of Us’ a Movie?

Initially, it was supposed to be turned into film. The game’s creator, Neil Druckmann, explained to the Hollywood Reporter in January 2023 why the movie was never made.

“Sam gave really solid notes, but it was an impossible task,” he shared. After the film had failed, Neil watched HBO’s 2019 series Chernobyl. He got connected to the miniseries’ creator Craig Mazin and The Last of Us TV series was born.

“He’s such a good storyteller, I was finding myself emotionally moved by a story that — for all intents and purposes — I shouldn’t be moved by anymore,” Neil said of Craig. “I realized that this is what I got wrong every other time — I didn’t have the right partner.”

Wait What? 'The Last of Us' Movie Got Canceled Before the HBO Show: Details
Courtesy of HBO

What Is ‘The Last of Us’ About?

Taking place “20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed,” the show follows “Joel, a hardened survivor” who “is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone,” per HBO’s official logline. “What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal and heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.”

Dealing With Fan Backlash

Because the adaptation of the video game had been fan cast over the year, some players were upset with the actual stars.

“You have to wall yourself off a bit,” Craig, for one, told The Hollywood Reporter at the show’s premiere. “The fan energy around us is enormous — and I’m a fan of the game too, I know exactly how they feel. I understand their nerves, their excitement, their trepidation. At some point, you have to wall yourself off a little bit because you can kind of drown in a million opinions.”



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Tyler Cowan