The Last of Us is one of the most critically acclaimed videogames of all time. Yet despite the game’s huge success, it’s taken almost a decade to be adapted into a TV series. Why?
Well, in 2014, it was announced that Sony was developing a Last of Us video game movie and that Neil Druckmann (who wrote the game) had been brought on as the writer while horror movie legend Sam Raimi would produce. Unfortunately, these plans quickly fell apart, and the project fell into development hell.
There were reports at the time that this was because Druckmann and the studio were at odds over what the film should be. The studio reportedly wanted an intense action movie, while Druckmann was keen on making it a lower-budget thriller movie. Eventually, the whole idea of a Last of Us movie ground to a halt.
At The Last of Us premiere in LA, however, Druckmann opened up about the real reason why the zombie movie fell apart. The story was simply too big to fit into a two-hour runtime.
“The short answer is that the story is too long,” Druckmann told Variety. “We tried to make it into a movie, and it did not work because what is usually a 15-hour experience and compressing it down into two hours.”
“It didn’t work, and there is always something else that is popping out I felt was important to the story,” he continued.”This time around, it allowed us to take our time and have a slow burn with the relationship between Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) over a year-long journey that could have only been adapted into a TV show.”