"The Last of Us" creative director Neil Druckmann. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)Link
The 14-year-old Ellie in a scene from "The Last of Us." (Naughty Dog / SCEA)Link
Joel and Ellie in a scene from "The Last of Us." (Naughty Dog / SCEA)Link
With “The Last of Us,” Naughty Dog craftsman Neil Druckmann helped create one of the most emotionally affecting survival games ever released.
Now, as he writes the script for Screen Gems’ upcoming big screen adaptation of “The Last of Us,” he’s endeavoring to make the first truly great video game movie.
Druckmann and filmmaker Sam Raimi, who will produce the film through his Ghost House Pictures banner, surprised the Hall H crowd at Comic-Con International in San Diego on Friday morning with a presentation devoted to the project, which is still in its nascent stages, hoping to stoke fan excitement for its upcoming adaptation of the apocalyptic survival game.
“The Last of Us” was one of the most widely lauded games of 2013. The story tracks Joel, who is hired to smuggle a 14-year-old girl, Ellie, out of a quarantine zone, but their personalities clash as they traverse the once-familiar terrain of Boston, which has become all plant life and crumbling buildings in the wake of an infection that has decimated the human populace.
The intimate character moments between the two leads was one of the things that hooked Raimi, who described himself as a gamer when addressing the audience, and he also stressed that a “Last of Us” movie would closely hew to the game.
“It doesn’t need to be different,” Raimi said. “It just needs to capture the core of what made ‘The Last of Us’ special to so many fans.”
Both Druckmann and Raimi promised a “laser focus” on Joel and Ellie’s relationship in “The Last of Us.” Although the film has yet to be cast and a director yet to be hired, Druckmann mentioned that he had met with “Game of Thrones” actress Maisie Williams, who plays the headstrong Arya Stark on the HBO fantasy, about the role of Ellie.
Raimi, a favorite among the Comic-Con set for his “Evil Dead” movies and his “Spider-Man” trilogy, said at the panel that he was currently at work on an “Evil Dead” TV show, though he shared few details about that project.
At the end of the Hall H session, Raimi received an Inkpot Award, celebrating his many contributions to the “popular arts.” The surprised director exclaimed “What the heck?” before accepting the prize with by saying, he was “honored to be a fan and be one of you guys.”
Click through the gallery above for a detailed look at “The Last of Us” game.
– Gina McIntyre
Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex
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