Watching the trailer for HBO’s The Last of Us is a frankly eerie experience. For years, videogame fans have grown used to scouring early footage of TV and movie adaptations for familiar details; small hints that might signify real fondness for the source material. But here, the resemblance is uncanny and everywhere. Even in live action, The Last of Us is instantly recognisable in its high-rise greenery and rooftop plank walks; its horseback rides and morose car journeys along quiet highways with Ellie in the passenger seat; the triggering sound of the clickers, halfway between a Geiger counter and the spinning rattles at a 1960s football match. Even the familiar font of the logo, with the stubby tail to its ‘L’, is present and correct.

In one sense, it’s no surprise. Those who’ve followed the prestige drama’s development closely will know that the fastidious screenwriter behind Chernobyl, Craig Mazin, shares showrunner status with Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann. Never before has a game’s creator been so closely involved with its adaptation for television. Yet it’s still surreal to wake up in an era where showrunners and game developers are finally working together, for mutual benefit.





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