The Last of Us HBO series is one of the most highly-anticipated video game adaptations and has a reasonably good chance of success. Much of that optimism stems from the fact that the TV show will be headed creatively by Craig Mazin of Chernobyl fame and Neil Druckmann himself.
Druckmann rose to prominence after having worked with Naughty Dog for years. He then got to write and co-direct 2013's The Last of Us alongside Bruce Straley. The title was an immediate success and a landmark achievement for video games in terms of storytelling and narrative.
HBO saw potential in The Last of Us as a TV series and enlisted the services of Mazin and Druckmann to write and run the show.
While discussing the SXSW nomination for The Last of Us Part II in a recent interview with IGN, Neil Druckmann shed more light on the HBO series.
"Less action" in The Last of Us HBO series?
In the interview, Druckmann stated that the need to teach players the mechanics of a game does not exist in film or TV. This indicates that much of the storytelling happens on the controller for video games.
Such a need for "action" does not exist in the cinematic or TV medium, so The Last of Us HBO series can afford to have less action. This seems to be a rather interesting vision and is in line with several comments from the excellent documentary, Grounded: The Making of The Last of Us.
[Jump to the 12-minute mark for the comments regarding the need for the Infected in the game]
In the documentary, Naughty Dog devs even explored the idea of not having the Infected in the game, as nothing should be perceived as a "monster" and break the sense of realism. Ultimately, they decided to include the Infected and more action.
While action is definitely going to be a tool for the creators to sell the brutality and ruthlessness of the world of The Last of Us, it isn't going to be a central characteristic.
In the same interview, Neil Druckmann also explained that many of his favorite moments in the series are the ones that deviate from the story of the game. This will certainly be a hot topic for fans of the video game but ultimately, it will be important for the TV series to stand independently as a work of art.