Screen Gems announced their intentions to produce a live action version of Naughty Dog’s, The Last of Us, the revolutionary Playstation 3 game that was released in 2013. The game of the year winner was a critical and commercial success, despite its deliberate story telling style that admittedly was inspired by the Coen brothers film, No Country for Old Men. The post apocalyptic tale follows Joel, a haunted man and his journey to take a 14-year-old Ellie cross-country in hopes of ending a terrible viral infection which decimated the overall population. Deadline managed to secure a statement from Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper who had this to say:
“Screen Gems’ Brian Dukes and Eric Ling brought this game to my attention insisting we go after it, and when I saw the quality of the storytelling, I knew the audience for this project was far greater than just the gaming community and that Neil Druckmann must write the screenplay. I am thrilled that SCEA’s Riley Russell was able to get me in front of Neil and Evan Wells to plead my case. Sam and his team at Ghost House round out the perfect team to help realize Neil’s vision.”
The tale does have some slight sci-fi themes, but much like The Walking Dead, much of the genius in the game lies in its smaller character moments and dialogue. There are combined elements of horror and drama which lead to an unexpectedly emotional journey, that culminates in one of the most shocking endings in video game history.
The strength of the game unlike most video games, lies in its story and script, not its top-notch visual presentation. That is quite a feat because many get drawn into the game by how life-like the characters and environments appear. The performances were pushed even further by excellent motion-capture performances by the leads. It should ease fans of the game that the Creative Director, Neil Druckmann, will be handling the scripting duties with Naughty Dog’s chiefs overseeing the production in tandem with Sam Raimi (Spiderman trilogy, The Evil Dead series). It is rare that a production company gets their hands on a video game license with this amount of depth. Bringing the story to life will be a huge task, but one in which many fans are eager to see the results.
Do you think that a live-action film can do the game justice?