The Last of Us, new test for a video game adapted into fiction

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The Last of Us, new test for a video game adapted into fiction

The HBO TV series picks up the aesthetic of the game “The Last of Us”.

Adapting a video game into a film or series has always been a difficult exercise. The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic adventure thriller coming to Crave on Sunday, wants to disprove tradition.

With rave reviews and a 97% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series is on course to score the first hit of the year on streaming platforms, nearly 12 years after the video game was released on the PlayStation 3 and 4 consoles.

Adapted by one of its creative heads, Neil Druckmann, accompanied by Craig Mazin, who worked on the hit miniseries Chernobyl (Chernobyl), the story remains faithful to that imagined by the Naughty Dog studio. It follows the duo formed by Joel, a trafficker broken by tragedy, and Ellie, the teenager he must protect, the last hope of a world almost destroyed by a virus, where zombies are rampant.

We were able to see Pedro Pascal play Oberyn Martell in particular HBO's “Game of Thrones” series.

The nine episodes take place in a post-apocalyptic America, locked down by a military dictatorship. Joel is played by Pedro Pascal, who starred in the hit series Narcos, The Iron Throne(Game of Thrones) and em> The Mandalorian, and Ellie, by Bella Ramsey, who also appeared inGame of Thrones.

For HBO Max, which produces the series in the United States, the stakes are high, especially in a context where viewers no longer know where to turn with so many new productions coming out every week.

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[The platform] clearly remains the benchmark for original series, but its parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery is at a crossroads when it comes to how much money it's willing to spend on productions, TV REV analyst John Cassillo told AFP.

If we no longer count the adaptations of emblematic video games, they are deemed not to have the same success in cinema or on the small screen.

According to According to the list compiled by Boxofficemojo.com, only five films in the genre have surpassed US$400 million (C$536 million) in worldwide revenue. The First to Do It – Warcraftin 2016 with US$439 million (C$588 million) – peaking at #288 overall.

By Lara Croft< em>: Tomb Raider, the movie (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) in 2001, with Angelina Jolie, toSonic the Hedgehog >(The Hedgehog) in 2020 (and its 2nd installment in 2022), through the series Resident Evil, and more recently the animated series Arcaneon Netflix, inspired by the video gameLeague of Legendsand Emmy-winning (2022), successes are rather rare.

What makes a video game entertaining does not necessarily make a movie or a series entertaining, and vice versa, also underlines John Cassillo by noting that most adaptations remain stuck between two universes.

[This time], the postapocalyptic story is inspired by ;a popular genre, even outside of video games [and those of] characters is compelling.

The first image from “The Last of Us” series, featuring Petro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, was first unveiled last June by HBO.

In an interview with the American newspaper The New York Times, Neil Druckmann explains that the most important thing was to keep the soul [of the game], not necessarily entire sequences. What makes the series are the characters, and their philosophical questions such as: "does the end justify the means" or "how big is the tribe you have to take care of", he adds.

Many other adaptation projects are expected in the cinema, including a new film inspired by the universe of the Super Mario character, a third Sonic and a Gran Turismo. A Tomb Raider animated series is also expected on Netflix.

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