Posted in: Gaming NewsOp-ed
March 8, 2020 3:00 PM UTC

Here’s Why HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ TV Adaptation is Entirely Unnecessary

A television adaptation of the world in Naughty Dog's hit 'The Last of Us' sounds incredible. Too bad it will simply retread the game's story. HBO and Naughty Dog are missing an opportunity to create something special.

  • HBO’s will adapt Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us to television.
  • The story is a retread of the game’s telling.
  • HBO is missing a chance to expand the world further.

A television adaptation of the world established in Naughty Dog’s hit The Last of Us sounds incredible. Imagine learning more about the Fireflies or watching the planet break down as pandemonium breaks out.

It’s unfortunate, then, that the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us will retread the events of the first game.

HBO’s The Last of Us Will Be a Simple Retread

Don’t get me wrong; there’s an impressive team attached to this project. The game’s director, Neil Druckmann, will help write the adaptation. Craig Mazin, who wrote Chernobyl for HBO, will work with Druckmann.

A powerhouse team like that is perfect for delving into Naughty Dog’s world and exploring something we haven’t seen before. After all, Druckmann created this game. He’s the one person we can trust to expand it.

Ellie’s story will continue into The Last of Us Part II. | Source: PlayStation

What made this story different from most post-apocalyptic narratives is the game’s interactivity. We’ve seen the story’s tropes in all sorts of media already. Actually playing it, getting to be Joel, and play a hand in the events that occur is what made The Last of Us impactful.

Turning that same tale into a show removes that unique property entirely. A TV adaptation is the perfect place to tell a new story.

Games industry personality Alanah Pearce puts it best. | Source: Twitter

Joel and Ellie could still pertain to the story. But we’ve seen (the first half) of their tale. Druckmann should focus on David or Bill or Tess or someone original here.

HBO Should Shake Things Up Like Netflix

One could argue Netflix’s The Witcher series simply adapted the books. However, The Witcher has more than enough source material to change things up, and it did.

The Last of Us only has one tale, and retreading it without that interactivity to make it unique seems silly. Even some slight changes for television won’t be enough to make it stand out.

Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ pulls from its many novels to tell its own tale that stays true to the narrative while also being unique. | Source: IMDB

Unfortunately, we’re even less likely to get a spin-off after this show makes its run. Druckmann has already said they’ll leave HBO’s telling open to adapt the game’s sequel.

At least Ellie will remain true to herself.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of

This article was edited by Aaron Weaver.

Last modified: March 7, 2020 1:22 AM UTC

Max Moeller @maxemole

Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and gaming journalist. Feels most at home with a controller and something to learn about. Likes emerging things, music, motion graphics, video editing, photography, and YouTube. Contact Max:

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