In a recent article with The New Yorker, Naughty Dog’s co-president, Neil Druckmann, and The Last of Us’ HBO series showrunner, Craig Mazin, discuss the evolution of video games. Particularly, they talk about how The Last of Us came to be adapted into a TV show, and what’s next for Naughty Dog.
There’s initially a lot of discussion regarding the curse of video game adaptations. Let’s be real, video games adapted for the silver screen have never done all that well, unless you’re a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. “Hopefully, this will put that video-game curse to bed,” Druckmann said regarding The Last of Us’ TV series adaptation. Mazin, on the other hand, suggests with a laugh that, “it’s gonna make it worse.”
“Sometimes adaptations haven’t worked because the source material is not strong enough. Sometimes they haven’t worked because the people making it don’t understand the source material,” says Druckmann. However, Druckmann thinks the relationship between video games and adaptations of them has shifted somewhat, and for the better.
All in all, Druckmann appears to be of the firm belief that video games, film, and TV can all blend together, especially given that various industry professionals are open to switching between mediums. An example being that composer and Oscar-winner, Gustavo Santaolalla, was secured to score The Last of Us.
This then leads Druckmann to talk about Naughty Dog’s plans for the future. The next project is supposedly “structured more like a TV show” than anything the studio has made before, and the co-president has been assembling an entire writers’ room for the project.
The Last of Us is set to premiere on HBO Max on January 15, 2023. Will you be tuning in, or are your eyes more peeled for Naughty Dog’s next project?