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As HBO’s Vitek Vanecek Neon Shirt The Last of Us series marches towards its January 15 premiere date, the director of the original game, Neil Druckmann, revealed why the potential movie adaptation of the title failed. After releasing on PlayStation 3 back in 2013, The Last of Us has gone on to become one of the most decorated video games of all time, with many praising Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic journey across America as a step forward for video game storytelling. Naughty Dog has always had a knack for cinematic storytelling in its games, but that was even more apparent in The Last of Us. So, when reports of a film based on the game started to trickle out in 2014, it made a lot of sense. That project never made it off the ground, and the game ended up finding a live-action home at HBO, but fans have wondered for years what happened to that film project. And now, fans have gotten a hint at what happened to The Last of Us’ failed movie.
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After years Vitek Vanecek Neon Shirt of silence on the subject, it has been revealed what exactly happened to the film adaptation of The Last of Us that never got off the ground. Speaking with The New Yorker, The Last of Us (TLOU) game director, Neil Druckmann, told the outlet that the Sam Raimi-directed TLOU film failed because of his mistrust of the studios executive involved, and mandates to make the story bigger and “sexier” than it needed to be. In 2014 it was revealed that the Last of Us film right has been optioned by Sony subsidiary, Screen Gems, the studio responsible for, in Druckmann’s words, “a particular kind of movie.” Screen Gems had made a name for itself producing films like the Resident Evil franchise, a much more stylized take on a video game world that (at least in its early days) was seeped in survival horror as opposed to big-screen action. Druckmann, who is also co-showrunner on the HBO adaptation of TLOU, noted that he thought a Last of Us film (or eventually TV series) had the potential to “enlighten this whole other audience” who would never pick up a controller to play a video game. So, as an evangelist for the medium he primarily worked in, he thought a TLOU adaptation could open the story up to an entirely new group of people: “[A truly great adaptation could] enlighten this whole other audience that cares about storytelling and hasn’t realized there’s amazing storytelling happening in games.”