The Last of Us TV series: Release date, cast and everything you need to know about the video game adaptation

Pedro Pascal and rising star Bella Ramsey star in the highly anticipated nine-part adaptation of the classic PlayStation action-adventure game.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 10 November 2022 - 4.10pm
Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us

Stream The Last of Us weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW from Monday, 16 January

HBO’s The Last of Us looks like an early contender for one of the best and biggest TV shows of 2023, and it’s coming very soon.

Available to watch in the UK weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW, the series is based on the smash hit PlayStation game developed by Naughty Dog.

Starring The Mandalorian and Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal and rising star Bella Ramsey (Catherine Called Birdy) as leads Joel and Ellie, fans can expect the same brutal and heartbreaking survival story that made the game one of the most acclaimed and popular of all time.

Here is everything you need to know about The Last of Us TV series...

What is The Last of Us TV series release date?

Stream The Last of Us on Sky Atlantic with NOW on Monday, 16 January.

New episodes will be released weekly at 2am – the same time the show premieres in the US on HBO.

The Last of Us season 1 will have nine episodes.

The Last of Us trailer – First look at video game TV series

What is The Last of Us story?

The Last of Us is set 20 years after the destruction of modern civilization and follows hardened survivor Joel, who is hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie out of an oppressive quarantine zone.

What Joel believes to be a small job suddenly becomes a brutal and heartbreaking passage across the US, where the pair must depend on each other for survival.

The show will cover the rough plot of the original game, which follows Joel and Ellie from  a post-apocalyptic Boston to Salt Lake City. It is also expected to introduce elements of two other games in the series - The Last of Us Part II and prequel The Last of Us: Left Behind, which focused on Ellie.

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us

The Last of Us cast

  • Pedro Pascal – Plays Joel
  • Bella Ramsey – Plays Ellie
  • Gabriel Luna – Plays Tommy
  • Anna Torv – Plays Tess
  • Nico Parker - Plays Sarah
  • Murray Bartlett - Plays Frank
  • Nick Offerman – Plays Bill
  • Melanie Lynskey - Plays Kathleen
  • Storm Reid - Plays Riley
  • Merle Dandridge - Plays Marlene
  • Jeffrey Pierce - Plays Perry
  • Lamar Johnson - Plays Henry
  • Keivonn Woodard - Plays Sam
  • Graham Greene – Plays Marlon
  • Elaine Miles - Plays Florence
  • Ashley Johnson
  • Troy Baker

The series will mix classic characters from the video game alongside new creations for the TV series.

New characters include ruthless revolutionary movement leader Kathleen, played by Yellowjackets stars Melanie Lynskey.

Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves) and Elaine Miles (Northern Exposure) will also play new characters Marlon and Florence, a married couple surviving alone in post-apocalyptic Wyoming.

Who are The Last of Us creators?

The team behind the TV series include the video game creator Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin.

“Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus,” said Mazin.

“Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I’m so honored to do it in partnership with Neil.”

Druckmann was equally enthused about his new collaborator.

“From the first time I sat down to talk with Craig I was equally blown away by his approach to narrative and his love and deep understanding of The Last of Us,” he said.

“With Chernobyl, Craig and HBO created a tense, harrowing, emotional masterpiece. I couldn’t think of better partners to bring the story of The Last of Us to life as a television show.”

How will the TV series differ from the computer game?

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us

Series co-creator Craig Mazin revealed in an interview with BBC’s Must Watch that the series will include a storyline that didn’t make the final version of the computer game, which Neil Druckman revealed to him.

"He told me what it was, and I was like, 'OK, jaw-drop, that's going in. We have to do that'.

"The changes that we’re making are designed to fill things out and expand. Not to undo, but rather to enhance."

He added: "There’s no episodic nonsense here. The things that are new and enhancing of the storyline that we’re doing are connected in organic, serious ways that I think fans of the game and newcomers alike will appreciate."

In an interview with IGN, Neil Druckmann explained how the show will occasionally use some of the same dialogue he created for the game and then at other points deviate because of the different medium.

"In the game, there’' so much action you have to have to train the player about mechanics," said Druckmann.

"You have to have more violence and more spectacle to some degree than you would need on a TV show because you don’t need to train people on how to use a gun. So that’s something that's been really different, and HBO’s been great in pushing us to move away from hardcore action and focus more on the drama of the character.

"Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can’t wait for people to see them."

Who is making The Last of US soundtrack?

Neil Druckmann confirmed on Twitter that the computer game’s composer Gustavor Santaolalla would be returning to bring his atmospheric stylings to the TV series.

Santaolalla’s TV and movies credits include Brokeback Mountain and Netflix true crime phenomenon Making a Murderer.

Why is The Last of Us computer game such a big deal?

The Last of Us was released on PlayStation and developed by Naughty Dog in 2013 and became a global phenomenon.

Games could play as Joel, who was smuggling teenager Ellie across a post-apocalyptic landscape and had to use firearms and improvised weapons to battle against humans and infected creatures.

The game won acclaim for its emotional narrative, visuals and rich characterisation. It sold over 1.3 million units in its first week and won numerous Game of the Year accolades and is generally considered one of the greatest games ever made.

It spawned a sequel, prequel, a comic book and was described by IGN as a “masterpiece”.

Stream The Last of Us on Sky Atlantic with NOW on Monday, 16 January 2023

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