HBO’s highly anticipated The Last Of Us series will change a major element of the original critically acclaimed PlayStation video game.
The Last of Us co-creator Craig Mazin recently revealed that the new TV series changes a major element of the original 2013 PlayStation 3 video game of the same name. The upcoming horror thriller stars Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller, a survivor of a global apocalypse caused by a fungal infection that turns humans into zombies.
Twenty years after the initial outbreak, Joel is tasked with smuggling 14-year-old Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across the United States to the Fireflies, a radical revolutionary group hoping to use Ellie’s rare natural immunity to the zombie virus to save the world.
What’s changed in The Last of Us
Speaking with ComicBook.com, Mazin admitted that HBO’s upcoming adaptation of The Last of Us changes much of the zombie elements of the original video game. The co-creator explained that in the adaptation process, certain elements of the story needed to be changed for the new environment. Mazin, along with the original creator of The Last of Us, Neil Druckmann, decided to eliminate spores as a way to spread the fungal infection.
“Obviously, there are some great things that we know we’re keeping, of course, but then there are challenges from game to series that had to be considered. For example, little things like spores. In the game, you encounter spores and you have to put on a gas mask. In the world we’re creating, if you put spores in the air, it would pretty clearly spread everywhere and everyone would have to wear a mask all the time and probably everyone would be completely infected at that point. So we’ve found an interesting new way to spread the fungus, but mostly I think we’ve connected with the spirit of the game. Druckmann, as the creator of the game, and I, as a fan of the game, have been caring on behalf of all the fans, but also on behalf of all the people who haven’t played the game, who need a television experience from which to understand the action, even though you haven’t played the game.”
For reference, the zombie-causing fungus in the original game is inspired by the real Cordyceps mushrooms. In the video game, the infection is caused by a mutation of the fungus that affects the brain. The infection can be transmitted through the bite of a live infected individual or from spores generated by a deceased infected person.