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Neil Druckmann Explains Why The Last of Us TV Show Has Less Violence

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The Last of Us video games are well-known for both their incredible story, as well as their brutal sequences that depict what life is like in a pseudo-zombie apocalypse. Despite that, the upcoming The Last of US adaptation from HBO will scale back some of the more violent moments from the game.


Speaking to SFX magazine, The Last of Us co-creator and Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann says that in a video game setting, more violence was necessary to get players into the mindset of Joel.

“We need a certain amount of action, or violence, that we could use for mechanics so you could connect with Joel and get into a flow state. Then you would really feel like you’re connected with this on-screen avatar and you’re seeing the world through his eyes,” explained Druckmann.

“But that doesn’t exist in a passive medium. One of the things that I loved hearing from [co-creator Craig Mazin] and HBO very early on was, ‘Let’s take out all the violence except for the very essential.’ That allowed the violence to have even more impact than in the game because when you hold on showing the threat and you’re seeing people’s reaction to a threat, that makes it scarier. And when we do reveal the infected and the Clickers, you get to see what brought down humanity and why everyone is so scared.”

The Last of Us series will tackle the events of the first game. Joining Pascal and Ramsey are Gabriel Luna (Terminator: Dark Fate) as Tommy Miller, Nico Parker (Dumbo) as Joel’s daughter Sarah, Anna Torv (Mindhunter) as Tess, and Merle Dandridge (The Flight Attendant) as she reprises her role from the video games as Marlene, the leader of a resistance group known as the Fireflies. It also features Jeffrey Pierce (Bosch) as Perry, Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus) as Frank, Con O’Neill (Chernobyl) as Bill, and Storm Reid (Euphoria) as Riley.