‘Chernobyl’ Director To Helm ‘The Last Of Us’ Pilot

It’s been an exciting month so far for Naughty Dog and its popular The Last Of Us video game franchise.

The much-anticipated The Last Of Us Part II game will debut for PlayStation 4 on June 19, and this week it was confirmed that Johan Renck (Chernobyl) will direct the pilot of HBO’s TV adaptation of the game, as reported by discussingfilm.net.

Renck, who also will act as executive producer of the series, said he was attracted to the project by the opportunity to work again with writer Craig Mazin, the creator of Chernobyl. “Craig and I are working with each other again,” he said, “and we will work with each other on other things because we like each other.”

When asked if he would have an extended role with the show, Renck said he was taking a wait-and-see approach. “I’m an executive producer on it and attached to it,” he said. “So, that’s not something I will be able to take on to that extent, but I’m part of the series and I will be directing at least the pilot. Then we will see how it goes on further.”

Renck also discussed the unique parameters of adapting historical characters–as in Chernobyl–versus such well-known video game characters as Joel from The Last Of Us. He noted that game players know someone like Joel very well and are familiar with how he acts and what he looks like.

Renck added that, to help with this aspect of creating the TV series, he, Mazin and Neil Druckmann–writer and creative director of the games–are engaging in “weekly calls about various approaches and how to deal with the fact that a video game character is (different) than a character from a book.”

Druckmann also will serve as a writer and executive producer on the HBO series. And it was announced that Gustavo Santaolalla–The Last Of Us Part II composer–also will be a part of the show’s creative team.

As fans of the Naughty Dog game know, The Last Of Us game follows Joel, a smuggler who escorts a teenage girl, Ellie, across a post-apocalyptic America. The game–which has won several Game Of The Year awards from publications and critics–sold more than 1.3 million units in its first week out back in 2013.

No decision on casting or a release date for the show has yet been made, so keep reading Horror News Network for all updates on HBO’s The Last Of Us.

Thomas Tuna
Thomas A. Tuna is a comic book veteran who began his writing career back in the ’70s with Charlton Comics, contributing to such horror titles as Ghost Manor, Haunted, The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves and Ghostly Haunts. Most recently, he has served as a writer and editor (with more than a smattering of horror yarns) for such comic book websites as Hyper Epics and Red Moon Features. Some of his favorite horror flicks include Jaws, Salem’s Lot, Dracula (with Frank Langella) and Blade. His favorite horror comic books? Tomb of Dracula (by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan) and Swamp Thing (by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson).

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