the last of us

Will HBO’s The Last of Us Break the Curse of Video Game Adaptations?


Those responsible for The Last of Us reflect on the process of adapting the video game

It’s no secret that video games have had many difficulties when being adapted to other media. Resident Evil he didn’t do very well either in movies or on TV, and even the series of Netflix it was canceled after one season. The movie Assassin’s Creed of 2016 was not well received either. We can continue with several examples of movies and series based on video games that have not done very well, why many people ask themselves: Are video game adaptations destined to fail?

Los showrunners of The Last of Us, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckman, has reflected on the process of adapting a video game. It must be remembered that they have in their favor the history of Joel and Ellie, which is the highlight of the game according to many fans. However, high expectations can work against the program. At a round table Mazin and Druckmann stated that they are aware of what has caused video game adaptations to fail and are working to break this curse..

The Last of Us - HBO Max - adaptation

How to break the curse of video game adaptations

“In the past, I think many decisions about video game adaptations were made with a lot of cynicism by people who don’t play games at all» commented Mazin, who means it the game boasts the “greatest video game history of all time”. “They just get a piece of paper that says, ‘It’s sold so many copies and has such global awareness,'” Mazin said of those responsible for various adaptations. “They don’t love it. They don’t breathe it. Now I think that’s starting to change. Neil and I love and breathe The last of us. We understand every little bit.”

Mazin thinks so too video game lovers should be responsible for creating adaptations. For his part, Druckmann hopes to break ‘video game curse’ so The Last of Us can be a model for future adaptations. “I hope, more than anything, that this process is successful and people look back at this show and say, ‘Oh, this is how you should do it.'” Furthermore, Druckmann said, the wrong people in charge draw the wrong conclusions.

Not all adaptations are disasters

Although most of the adaptations are considered bad, so is Mazin praised those responsible for Netflix’s The Witcher. «The team that makes The Witcher love and understand The Witcher. You can tell they love it and they understand it.”

Besides, there was a time when The Last of Us was supposed to be a movie. “Trying to condense it [juego] in two hours, it always felt like it was compromised,” said Druckmann. “I could never figure it out.” Fortunately, Druckmann was hopeful of working with Mazin, commenting, “If I could team up with this guy to tell this story, maybe there’s a good chance to make a good version.”

The last of us

Fortunately for Druckmann, Mazin was interested in The Last of Us, seeing the real-life scares rather than the fantasy aspects as key: “These aren’t zombies coming out of the graves,” he said. “There’s no magic. There’s no spirits or ghosts. It’s science, and to me, nothing is scarier than a scared scientist.”

From video games to television

Druckmann also worked as a director on the show, and was asked how different it was directing for video games compared to television. “There’s a certain luxury we have in video games when we capture a performance, we get every angle under the sun,” Druckmann explained. “We don’t have to worry about coverage because we have all the coverage in the world.”

The Last of Us premieres on January 16 in HBO Max.

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