One of the first major premieres of 2023 pulls viewers into a dark alternate timeline of societal collapse and mold-infested zombies – a world video game enthusiasts are already quite familiar with because they’ve played it. That’s why The Last of Us executive producer Craig Mazin says that when adapting the award-winning video games for HBO, he and executive producer Neil Druckmann made sure that any changes they made during the adaptation process were “always on target ” were.
“A lot of people say, ‘I want to customize something.’ And someone says, “Great, you can.” And then they say, ‘I change everything.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, why did you want to adapt it then?’” Mazin tells Consequence during a roundtable interview. “Sometimes I’m the one who unexpectedly says, ‘You know what, Neil, I really don’t want to deviate from what you’ve been doing.'”
Starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as survivors of a deadly plague who embark on a perilous road trip in search of hope for the future, the new series represents a new level for video game adaptations – thanks in part to the involvement of Druckmann, the writer and director of the original source material, serving as a writer for the series and also directing the second episode.
But the process also served Mazin’s status as a self-proclaimed gamer, determined to get this right: “Because the game means too much to Neil, it means too much to me, and it means millions and millions too much to people around the world. “
Fans of the game or fans of prestigious HBO dramas might be equally curious as to what it all means, and below, Mazin and Druckmann explain what to expect from the upcoming series, from how much of the original narrative has been changed to whether the Show will adjust the level of violence in the games. Also, don’t get excited for this series to overtake a show like Game of Thrones, which Mazin has a very good reason for doing.
How exactly do the Last of Us games tie into the TV show?
While Druckmann’s involvement suggests that, Mazin confirms that the answer is pretty obvious: “The first season is the events of the first game. And if you’ve played the game, you can see from the marketing materials that we’re covering the events of the Left Behind DLC as well.”