When HBO first announced their high-profile adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, it was made clear that not everything from the games would carry over into live-action. Neil Druckmann, creator of the franchise and one of the series’ leading producers, stated changes would have to be made to the story in the process of adapting it. Now, fans are getting their first idea as to what will be different when Joel and Ellie make their iconic trip across the country on television.
In an exclusive interview with Comic Book, series showrunner Craig Mazin revealed HBO’s take on The Last of Us will not include the infamous spores that helped spread the Cordyceps infection so quickly in the acclaimed video games:
Obviously, there are some big things that we know we’re keeping, of course, but then there are challenges from the game to the show that had to be considered. For instance, little things like the spores. In the game, there are these where you encounter spores and you need to put a gas mask on. In the world that we’re creating, if we put spores in the air, it would be pretty clear that they would spread around everywhere and everybody would have to wear a mask all the time and probably everybody would be completely infected by that point.Craig Mazin
As Mazin mentions, both The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II feature sections of gameplay where the players encounter Cordyceps spores floating in the air. The spores make it difficult to see clearly and are usually accompanied by loads of monsters. They also force the protagonists to use protective masks and flashlights to traverse infected areas. Mazin‘s reasoning for altering this aspect of the game’s aesthetic makes sense, and the creative went on to assure fans that he and Druckmann have come up with some sort of fitting alternative instead:
So, we challenged ourselves to come up with an interesting new way for the fungus to spread but mostly I think we just connected with the soul and spirit of the game. He, as the creator of the game, and me, as a fan of the game, we were caretakers on behalf of all the fans but also on behalf of all the people who haven’t played the game who need a television experience that is holistic and connected to itself and doesn’t feel like you ned to play a game to understand.Craig Mazin
The Last of Us premieres on HBO on January 15th. It stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie, with Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, and Merle Dandridge rounding out the recurring cast.
Source: Comic Book