The Star of “The Last of Us”: HBO Show is Respectful with Adapted Game

In “The Last of Us” Ashley Johnson’s replacement as Ellie, Bella Ramsey, believes that fans of the video game will adore HBO’s adaptation.

According to Bella Ramsey, HBO’s adaptation of “The Last of Us” does justice to its cherished source material. Ramsey made a big splash when she made her acting debut in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones as Lyanna Mormont. It was revealed last year that the (at the time) 17-year-old actor had been chosen to play Ellie in the premium network’s adaptation of the acclaimed video game series “The Last of Us” created by Naughty Dog.

Along with Ramsey, other Game of Thrones alumni include Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller, Nico Parker as Sarah, Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess, Nick Offerman as Bill, and Merle Dandridge, who plays Marlene from the games, in “The Last of Us“. In addition, the show will introduce three new, non-game characters: Perry, voiced by Jeffrey Pierce (who performs the role of Tommy in the games), Frank, and Kim Tembo, played by Murray Bartlett. “The Last of Us” is executive produced and co-written by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, co-president of Naughty Dog (Chernobyl). Ten episodes will make up Season 1, and they will follow Joel as he smuggles Ellie, a teenage girl who is immune, across the pandemic-ravaged United States. This video game adaptation likely faces more pressure than its predecessors because it is PlayStation Productions’ first television series.

Ramsey discusses “The Last of Us” and how it was modified in an interview with SheKnows. The now-18-year-old actor says the show “follows the emotional beats of the game” and gives it new life while acknowledging the IP’s devoted fan base. Below is the full quote:

I think people are going to love [the adaptation]. I know there were people worried about it, of course. When something is so precious to you as a viewer — as a gamer — of course, you’re going to be worried about the adaptation.

But honestly, I think people are going to love it. It very much follows the emotional beats of the game, and it’s very respectful of the game and honors the game. But [the live-action series adaptation] brings a new life into it. It explores different avenues that weren’t explored so much in the game. I do think people are going to love it. I hope they do. It was so much fun to make, such an experience. I hope that [audiences] feel that experience too when they come on the adventure with us.

One of the most acclaimed video games in the last ten years is “The Last of Us“. Players connected with the first game in the series (and its characters), and as a result, “The Last of Us” Part II, the sequel, became one of the most polarizing video games ever. This was primarily because of how the characters were handled, which fell short of some expectations. The HBO series, which also features the award-winning plot of the original game, must live up to its execution (not to mention the performances of Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson). Even though the series’ filming is over, fans have only seen a few moments of it and will now get to enjoy a trailer.

According to set photos for “The Last of Us”, Canada has been transformed into places like the Boston Quarantine Zone and post-apocalyptic Texas. HBO’s adaptation appears promising, right down to Ellie’s backpack and the clicker above. Ramsey previously referred to “The Last of Us” as her biggest project to date, which is significant coming from a Game of Thrones producer. Production value, attention to detail, and tenacity alone won’t cut it. The gameplay in the original game was fun and pushed the PS3 to its limits, but the story was the best part. It will be interesting to see how the show takes “different turns,” introduces fresh faces (no more non-player characters), and shocks viewers without losing sight of its central relationship. Next year, the curse of video game adaptations should be broken if it doubles down on Pascal’s Joel and Ellie.