HBO’s highly-anticipated TV series adaptation of the acclaimed video game “The Last of Us” will reportedly consist of ten episodes. Co-creator Craig Mazin recently confirmed the number whilst appearing on the ScriptNotes podcast where he spoke some more about what’s in store.
Like with “Chernobyl,” this has a straight-to-series order and thus they can’t retool things once they’ve started like HBO has done with some high-profile shows in the past (such as with “Game of Thrones”).
Production on the first episode recently got underway in Alberta and he confirms the show will have five directors across ten episodes. He adds that the writing for “the first three episodes, and to some extent the first four episodes, is kinda done.”
Financing wise he says the budget for the series is “healthy” and “we have the budget to make an excellent show, and so we shall”. That doesn’t mean it’s easy sailing as there are still “budget challenges”. Still, from the scale he describes it’s going to be a big series:
“On a television show that has multiple episodes, individual episodes will have prep going on while you’re producing other episodes. The time you spend in advance of shooting, in prep, varies from project to project.
The rule of thumb for an average feature film, for a $40 million movie, typically you’re looking at 3-4 months of prep. For a show like the one we have been doing, we’ve been prepping for many, many, many months. And we will continue to prep as new episodes come up.”
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey star in the series as Joel and Ellie, two survivors who travel across a post-apocalyptic United States.
Mazin is developing the show alongside the game’s co-writer Neil Druckmann while Russian director Kantemir Balagov (“Beanpole”) is helming the first episode. The series isn’t expected to air until late 2022 or early 2023.