Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed videogame series The Last of Us has taken the live-action adaptation route via HBO Max. The show starring Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie has received critical acclaim and premiered six of its nine episodes.
Furthermore, according to a report by Nielsen, The Last of Us has overtaken another popular HBO Max series, House of the Dragon, in terms of minutes viewed for their premiere episodes.
Also, the report states that The Last of Us raked in a total of 837 million minutes in its first week compared to 741 million for the Game of Thrones prequel.
The show is based on the eponymous 2013 videogame developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is set in a fictional post-apocalyptic America overrun by zombies created by a mutant Cordyceps fungus.
Twenty years into the pandemic, Joel, who is a middle-aged survivor dealing with the trauma of losing his daughter, is tasked with escorting a girl named Ellie across the country to help discover a cure as she is immune to the infection.
After a globally well-received premiere, the show was renewed for a second one in January 2023. It will be based on the sequel, The Last of Us Part II, which was released in 2020 and is set five years after the events of the first game.
The game was initially going to be adapted into a film announced in 2014. However, due to it entering development hell, the plan was dropped in favor of an Uncharted adaptation, another Naughty Dog title.
Finally, in March 2020, the television adaptation based on the first game was announced to be in the works by HBO. The pilot episode premiered on January 15, 2023, and was an instant hit.
After six episodes, The Last of Us holds a rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 295 reviews. Furthermore, it received praise for its performances, writing, production design, and score. Also, according to many critics, it has broken the video game adaptation curse.
In a reverse effect, the sales for the recently released PlayStation 5 remake of the first game skyrocketed after the show’s premiere, going as high as 305 percent in the United Kingdom.
The first six episodes of The Last of Us are available to stream on HBO Max in the US, Binge in Australia, Crave in Canada, Disney+ Hotstar in India, HBO Go in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, Neon in New Zealand, and Sky Group channels and Now in Germany and Austria, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Ireland.
The show also guest stars Nico Parker, John Hannah, Gabriel Luna, Merle Dandridge, Josh Brener, Anna Torv, Nick Offerman, and Ashley Johnson, among many others. The screenplay has been written by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann.
The list of directors includes Mazin, Druckmann, Peter Hoar, Jeremy Webb, Jasmila Žbanić, Liza Johnson, and Ali Abbasi. The final three episodes will premiere weekly, every Sunday at 6 p.m. PT with the season finale streaming on March 12, 2023.
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