Creators Make a Major Change in The Last of Us to Increase Believability

Creators Make a Major Change in The Last of Us to Increase Believability

The heartbreaking horror thriller, The Last of Us, recently got a new revelation from co-creator Craig Mazin just days before its release. He revealed that the series would significantly change its zombie logic compared to the canon PS4 video game.

The series stars Pedro Pascal as the nefarious zombie smuggler Joel Miller. He is tasked with escorting a 14-year-old girl Ellie to a group called the Fireflies. This is because only she can save humanity from the deadly fungi, as she has a unique gene that renders it useless.

Speaking with, Mazin said that the upcoming series sees some major changes made to the zombies compared to the video game. This was done to maintain coherence with the transition from a video game to a series.

The co-creator explained that they needed to change some elements of the story because of the new medium. Mazin, along with Neil Druckmann, the game’s creator, decided to remove the way the fungus spreads in the Series.

Makers Make A Major Change In The Last Of Us To Increase Believability
Joel and Ellie

Obviously, there are some big things that we know we’re keeping, of course, but then there are challenges from the game to the show that had to be considered. For instance, little things like the spores. In the game, there are these where you encounter spores, and you need to put a gas mask on. In the world that we’re creating, if we put spores in the air, it would be pretty clear that they would spread around everywhere and everybody would have to wear a mask all the time and probably everybody would be completely infected by that point. So, we challenged ourselves to come up with an interesting new way for the fungus to spread, but mostly I think we just connected with the soul and spirit of the game. [Druckmann], as the creator of the game, and me, as a fan of the game, we were caretakers 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 that is holistic and connected to itself and doesn’t feel like you need to play a game to understand.

So, how does removing spores help?

The fungus that causes the fatal infection in the series is a real-life fungus called Cordyceps. In the game, a mutation caused the virus to affect the brain, which could be spread through physical contact or through spores.

The makers removed spores from the Series to make it a little less threatening. 

They observed that the characters would always need a mask if spores existed, which would be inappropriate for the series’ aesthetic. Moreover, the extra deadly nature will likely end human civilization. This will render the plot of the Series useless.

This step will not only increase believability but will also give the audience a chance to fathom the true horrors of the dystopian world.

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About The Last Of Us

The Last of Us is an HBO TV series adaptation of the award-winning video game of the same name originally developed by Naughty Dog.

It is set in 2033, as a fungal infestation plagues humans, turning them feral and blind before finally finishing them off. The series follows Joel’s journey to escort an immune 14-year-old Ellie to the Fireflies, who hope to study her to procure a vaccine.

The cast comprises Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, both famed for their roles in Games of Thrones, along with Gabriel Luna, Merle Dandridge, and Nico Parker. The show was renewed for season 2.