The Last of Us: everything you need to know about HBO’s post-apocalyptic horror series

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The creator of Chernobyl is set to bring a truly terrifying post-apocalyptic horror to our TV screens, and we can’t wait.

Sky Original’s Chernobyl was the talk of 2019, and has since been voted one of the “greatest TV shows of all time”. So you can imagine how excited we were to learn that the show’s creator, Craig Mazin, is joining forces with HBO for another show, this time adapting post-apocalyptic horror The Last Of Us.

Here’s everything we know so far.

What’s the plot of The Last of Us?

If you’re an avid gamer like I am, then you will already know a lot about Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us. For those who aren’t, though, the award-winning horror game – as heart-breaking as it is terrifying – is set in the USA of a not-too-distant future.

In the game, you play Joel, a hard-as-nails smuggler tasked with escorting teenager Ellie to a rebel safe house outside the quarantine zone. Unfortunately, there’s a horde of infected zombies in the way – and half of them don’t even need to see you to attack. Just like bats, or the monsters in A Quiet Place, they work on sound alone, which means that you need to listen out for their tell-tale clicking noises and stay well clear. 

Is The Last Of Us based on a true story?

The fungus which causes the fictional zombie outbreak is based on an actual, real parasitic infection known as Cordyceps, which – much as we see in The Last of Us – infests and grows within a host until fungal growths erupt from the body, driving them slowly mad in the process. 

Is there a trailer for The Last Of Us?

Not for the TV show, no: they haven’t even begun filming yet. However, feast your eyes on this trailer for the OG video game:

Who’s behind The Last Of Us TV series?

Mazin – who won two Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on Chernobyl – is directing this new HBO adaptation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he will be teaming up with the writer and creative director of The Last of Us game, Neil Druckmann, to write and executive produce the series.

Carolyn Strauss will also executive produce along with Evan Wells, president of Naughty Dog, the Santa Monica-based developer of the game. The project is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television in association with PlayStation Productions. It will be the first television series from PlayStation Productions.

Who will be in the cast of The Last Of Us?

No casting decisions have yet been announced but Game of ThronesMaisie Williams has been suggested by avid fans of the game – and she’s definitely keen to take on the role of Ellie.

“Honestly I would love to [take on the role] and that’s where it is at the moment,” she said at the San Diego Comic Con in 2015. “There’s no script, no director and it’s still very early days for the whole project. If it all goes ahead soon enough then yeah, I would love to.”

Maisie Williams has said she's keen to be considered for the role of Ellie in The Last Of Us.
Maisie Williams has said she's keen to be considered for the role of Ellie in The Last Of Us.

Given her notable performances in HBO’s GOT, it’s no wonder that Williams has emerged as the prime candidate for the role of Ellie. In fact, having travelled across the northern regions of Westeros with The Hound – a dynamic that echoes Joel and Ellie’s relationship from the game – she was a perfect fit for Naughty Dog’s seminal title when whispers first began circulating about the project five years ago.

However, Williams is now 22 – and Ellie is 14. So, unless they do as they have done with BBC One’s Noughts and Crosses and make the character a little older (which may negate the power of Joel and Ellie’s begrudging father-daughter relationship), it seems unlikely she will take the part.

When will The Last of Us be on TV?

We will keep you up to speed with all the latest news as we get it, including the release date.

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Images: HBO/Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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