Naughty Dog’s phenomenal survival horror title, The Last of Us, is coming to the big screen. The live-action adaptation will be distributed by Sony subsidiary Screen Gems, with creative director Neil Druckmann tapped for script-writing duties. Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra will also be involved, as well as The Last of Us game director, Bruce Straley. Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures production company will also collaborate on the project.
Via Deadline, Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper said The Last of Us’ quality storytelling made it a prime candidate for Hollywood. “I knew the audience for this project was far greater than just the gaming community and that Neil Druckmann must write the screenplay,” Culpepper said. Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells described the parties involved as “a perfect fit.” Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures previously worked on the Evil Dead remake, which came out last year.
During a recent Reddit AMA, Druckmann hinted we might see The Last of Us in another medium, and he recently said a sequel is a distinct possibility. Meanwhile, Wells said a film adaptation has been considered since the game was released last June; it was just a matter of finding the right partners.
If you’ve experienced the PlayStation 3 exclusive, you already know how the journey ends, though it’s unclear how closely the movie will stick to the game, or if Druckmann will explore all-new territory with Joel and Ellie. Since a sequel is probably coming, it’s unclear how much Druckmann’s obligations to the movie will effect the game’s development. Right now, Druckmann and Straley have reportedly taken over the Uncharted franchise now that Amy Hennig, who was responsible for the first three Uncharted games, has departed Naughty Dog.
Who will play Joel and Ellie? Will it keep the same vibe as The Last of Us? Or will Hollywood make it into a gory action flick and ignore the dynamic between the two main characters? So many questions. Let’s hope a live-action adaptation doesn’t tarnish what is considered one of the best-ever video games.