Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann has said that HBO’s The Last of Us Season 1 will be based on the first game, and while it will be “pretty close” to the title, the show will also “deviate greatly” in some ways for the better.
Speaking to IGN during SXSW 2021, Druckmann revealed that the show will borrow some dialogue from the game, and the team’s primary goal is to ensure that HBO captures the “philosophical underpinnings” of the series first and foremost.
“As far as the superficial things, like should [a character] wear the same plaid shirt or the same red shirt? They might or might not appear in it, that’s way less important to us than getting the core of who these people are and the core of their journey,” Druckmann continued. “Things sometimes stay pretty close. It’s funny to see my dialogue there from the games in HBO scripts. And sometimes they deviate greatly to much better effect because we are dealing with a different medium.”
Explaining how things may deviate, Druckmann added:
For example, in the game, there’s so much action you have to have to train the player about mechanics. You have to have more violence and more spectacle to some degree than you would need on a TV show because you don’t need to train people on how to use a gun. So that’s something that’s been really different, and HBO’s been great in pushing us to move away from hardcore action and focus more on the drama of the character. Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can’t wait for people to see them.
HBO’s The Last of Us has yet to be dated.