HBO’s adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us has found one of its leads.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones) is reuniting with the cabler to take on Ellie’s role.
The series comes from Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and the game’s writer and creative director, Neil Druckmann.
iT will be produced by HBO and Sony Pictures TV along with PlayStation Productions, Word Games, and game developer Naughty Dog.
“Craig and Neil are visionaries in a league of their own,” said HBO Programming executive vp Francesca Orsi when HBO went straight to series on the project.
“With them at the helm alongside the incomparable Carolyn Strauss, this series is sure to resonate with both die-hard fans of The Last of Us games and newcomers to this genre-defining saga.”
“We’re delighted to partner with Naughty Dog, Word Games, Sony and PlayStation to adapt this epic, powerfully immersive story.”
The TV adaptation is set 20 years after the destruction of modern civilization. It follows Joel, a hardened survivor of the apocalypse, who’s hired to smuggle a 14-year-old girl named Ellie out of an oppressive quarantine zone.
The seemingly small job becomes a brutal journey as they come to depend on each other for survival. The plot appears to be the same as the original game, which should provide a wealth of source material. The franchise expanded this year with the debut of The Last of Us Part II, which broke sales records.
“We’re thrilled to be working with HBO and this fantastic creative team to bring ‘The Last of Us’ series to life,” said Sony Pictures TV Studios president Jeff Frost and PlayStation Productions head Asad Qizilbash.
“PlayStation’s innovative storytelling and ingenuity is a natural complement to SPT’s creative focus. Our collaboration is a great example of our ‘One Sony’ philosophy at work. We look forward to developing even more iconic game IP in the future.”
Mazin and Druckmann executive produce The Last of Us with Carolyn Strauss (Chernobyl, Game of Thrones), Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells, and PlayStation Productions’ Qizilbash and Carter Swan.
Johan Renck (Chernobyl) is attached to direct the pilot.
Ramsey is best-known for the scene-stealing role of Lyanna Mormont on the final seasons of Game of Thrones, a role that propelled the youngster to instant stardom.
As someone who has played both of the games, I’m intrigued to see where this goes, but I’m secretly squealing the project is in the works at HBO due to the expected high budget.
The characters in the games traversed epic wastelands filled with various foes, and it’s likely the series will be costly.
Rumors circulated earlier on Wednesday that True Detective’s Mahershala Ali would be stepping into the role of Joel, but THR has confirmed that is not the case.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.