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HBO's Game-to-TV 'The Last of Us' Series Will Hit Your Streaming Queue in January

We just found your first streaming obsession of 2023.
By Sarah Ward
November 03, 2022
By Sarah Ward
November 03, 2022

2022 isn't over yet, but it has been filled with a huge array of stellar television and streaming shows so far, including both new and returning series. If you're looking ahead to the new year already, though, HBO has just confirmed your first big small-screen obsession of 2023: the game-to-TV adaptation of The Last of Us.

Right now, we all fall into two categories. Firstly, there's the hefty group of people who are already devoted to The Last of Us, the hit video game that's been a button-mashing favourite since 2013 and spawned a sequel in 2020. Then, there's the folks that are about to start obsessing over its new HBO adaptation when it arrives on January 16. Whichever camp you fall into, this is bound to be 2023's first big show — and if you're wondering what you're in for, the initial teaser trailer from September sets a moody, creepy, action-packed scene, as expected of a story that dives into a tense and fraught post-apocalyptic version of the US.

For The Last of Us newcomers, here's the premise: 20 years after modern civilisation has been destroyed, survivor Joel is hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie out of a tough and oppressive quarantine zone. There wouldn't be a game, let alone a television version, if that was an easy task, of course — and if the pair didn't need to weather quite the brutal journey, as well as a nightmarish quest for survival.

So far, so intriguing — and while the debut sneak peek does indeed conjure up memories of The Walking Dead, that just comes with the basic concept. The Naughty Dog-created PlayStation game wouldn't be the huge hit it's proven for almost a decade now if it simply cribbed from that TV show, obviously.

As a series, The Last of Us also boasts a heap of impressive names — starting with star Pedro Pascal (The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent) as Joel, plus Game of Thrones' alum and recent Catherine Called Birdy standout Bella Ramsey as Ellie. Fans of the game will note that Ashley Johnson (Blindspot) and Troy Baker (Young Justice), who voiced the two characters in the source material, will indeed pop up in the HBO show. They'll clearly be playing different characters, however.

Also pivotal to HBO's adaptation: co-creator, executive producer, writer and director Craig Mazin, who already brought a dystopian hellscape to the US network (and to everyone's must-watch list) thanks to the haunting and horrifying Chernobyl. He teams up here with Neil Druckmann from Naughty Dog, who also penned and directed The Last of Us games.

Alongside Pascal and Ramsey — and Johnson and Baker — the series also boasts Gabriel Luna (Terminator: Dark Fate) as Joel's younger brother and former soldier Tommy, Merle Dandridge (The Flight Attendant) as resistance leader Marlene and Aussie actor Anna Torv (Mindhunter) as smuggler Tess. And, Nico Parker (The Third Day) plays Joel's 14-year old daughter Sarah, Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus) and Nick Offerman (The Resort) feature as isolated survivalists Frank and Bill, Storm Reid (Euphoria) pops up as Boston orphan Riley, and Jeffrey Pierce (Castle Rock) plays quarantine-zone rebel Perry. As seen in the trailer, Yellowjackets' Melanie Lynskey also guest stars.

Check out the teaser trailer for The Last of Us below:

The Last of Us will start streaming Down Under from Monday, January 16, 2023 — in Australia via Binge and New Zealand via Neon.

Published on November 03, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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