Last Of Us Video Game Director Will Helm An Episode Of The HBO Series

Production on "The Last of Us" HBO series is well underway in Canada at this very moment, which means with every passing day/week/month we're gonna get more and more tidbits of information. Today we found out about a biggie: the video game's director, Neil Druckmann, will be directing an episode of the series.

Now, we knew Druckmann was heavily involved with the show, which is being spearheaded by "Chernobyl" showrunner and cranky "Scriptnotes" co-host Craig Mazin. But thanks to a Director's Guild of Canada production list, we now know that Druckmann's creative input on the show won't just be as a producer. The guy who creatively birthed the original video game stories and characters will help make them a flesh-and-blood reality.

Druckmann and Mazin and Zbanic, Oh My!

For those who haven't played Naughty Dog's game-changer of a video game series, "The Last of Us" tells the story of Joel, a grizzled smuggler who is tasked to escort a young girl named Ellie through a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic landscape. The game is a story-forward narrative that is way more about the characters on this journey than a zombie gross-out marathon. Both Joel and Ellie are complicated, broken by the declining civilization around them. The safe zones are militarized authoritarian nightmares, and the wilds filled with fungus-infected zombies and the absolute worst of surviving humanity.

The game loves to play with perspective (you start playing the game pre-outbreak as Joel's young daughter) and shades of gray. In the game's sequel, they push that even further, putting you in the shoes of both the protagonist you've grown to love and the antagonist who has very good reasons of her own. 

In short, this has all the makings of a badass show, especially now that we know Druckmann's going to be calling the shots on at least one episode.

Other directors either revealed or confirmed by the DGC document are writer Craig Mazin himself, Jasmila Žbanić ("Quo Vadis, Aida"), Kantemir Balagov ("Beanpole"), and Peter Hoar ("Daredevil" and "The Umbrella Academy"). IMDb also lists Ali Abbasi ("Border") as a director.

A Helluva Cast

The HBO show will star Pedro Pascal as Joel, Bella Ramsey as Ellie, Gabriel Luna as Joel's brother, Tommy, and Merle Dandridge reprising her role as Marlene, the resistance leader who sends Joel and Ellie on this quest. 

The video game is an all-timer and worth owning a Playstation for just by itself. It balances beauty and heart with terror and suffering. In short, it could very well be the "Game of Thrones" filler that HBO has been searching for. With all this talent involved and the rich source material to work with, I'm expecting something very special from this show.