Neil Druckmann Reveals Why Sam Raimi’s The Last Of Us Film Didn’t Happen

Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us series is hot property that film executives wanted a piece of in the past. With the live-action adaptation finding a home with HBO, creative director Neil Druckmann recently looked back on Sam Raimi’s film adaptation that wasn’t meant to be, explaining why he and the studio didn’t see eye to eye.

The HBO series is well underway in production, with Game of Thrones actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey portraying Joel and Ellie. A recent report suggested that filming would begin in Calgary on July 5 and run until June 8, 2022, giving the crew plenty of time to develop their vision. With Druckmann and showrunner Craig Mazin on the same page, fans can surely look forward to an entertaining piece of television that will remain loyal to the source material, which is a promising path that Raimi’s project never reached.

Speaking to the Script Apart podcast, Druckmann reminded all of us that a film adaptation of The Last of Us was once in the pipeline back in 2014. Sam Raimi was attached as a producer for Sony – with no word on whether he was going to direct as well – but the project never left the pre-production stage.

Druckmann provided some insight behind the decision to scrap the adaptation, explaining how Sony wanted a grand action film but Druckmann wanted to retain the game’s indie tone. “A lot of the thinking and notes were like ‘how do we make it bigger?… I think that’s ultimately why the movie wasn’t made,” Druckmann clarified, adding that the quieter, character-orientated moments of the game will now be fleshed out within the HBO series.

With Kantemir Balagov already on board to direct the pilot episode, the subsequent episodes will be in the hands of Jasmila Žbanić and Ali Abbasi. The award-winning directors will be in charge of capturing the poignant and exhilarating moments on Joel and Ellie’s journey, following a narrative that will also expand on various moments in the game that were previously short-lived.

The events of The Last of Us 2 will no doubt be kept for future seasons of the HBO series, and Druckmann has confirmed that a plot for The Last of Us 3 has already been written. While the third game is not yet in development, it appears as though the studio has already mapped out future events that the show could eventually tap into as well.

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