Why “Last of Us” Didn’t Work As A Film

Originally published on Dark Horizons by Garth Franklin

Shortly after it first came out, a film adaptation of Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed video game “The Last of Us” was in the works.

Then it spent years languishing in development hell at Screen Gems and Sony, frozen until HBO came in and picked up the property as a TV series that things finally got underway on the adaptation.

So why could they never get it to work as a movie? Game director Neil Druckmann, who wrote the proposed film and is heavily involved in the series that is being produced, tells Script Apart podcast (via IGN) that the film never worked because it fixated on action set-pieces:

“When I worked on the movie version, a lot of the thinking and notes were like ‘how do we make it bigger? How do we make the set pieces bigger?’ It didn’t work for The Last of Us and I think that’s ultimately why the movie wasn’t made.

Our approach for The Last of Us was ‘Let’s make it as an indie film’. Let’s approach it as an indie film team, the way it’s shot, the way how small and intimate it feels.

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