LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 09: (L-R) Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey attend the Los Angeles premiere of HBO's "The Last of Us" at Regency Village Theatre on January 09, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)
Movies - TV
HBO's The Last of Us Won't Have Spores, And That's Fine
HBO’s "The Last of Us" premieres on January 15, 2023, and is destined to be one of the most faithful video game adaptations of all time. However, one major change from the source material is that the series will forgo the airborne spores notorious for wreaking havoc and spreading the cordyceps virus on human civilization.
In an interview with Collider, "The Last of Us" co-creator Neil Druckmann revealed the new solution: "Eventually, those conversations led us to these tendrils. And then, just thinking about how there's a passage that happens from one infected to another, and like fungus does, it could become a network that is interconnected."
The switch-up with tendrils helps convey the hive mind-like state of the infection and makes more sense as a whole. As co-creator Craig Mazin aptly pointed out in an interview with Extraordinerd, airborne spores would not realistically stay in one isolated location like in the video game and would result in people needing to be masked at all times.
Instead of covering up the faces of the actors during some of the most intense moments of the game, their reactions to the environment and the infected that walk among it are now visible. In a series where getting to know the main characters through their performances is paramount, a gimmick like using a mask isn't that important in the grand scheme of things.