HBO’s The Last of Us Series Gets a New Director, Filmmaker Behind ‘Beanpole’

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HBO’s The Last of Us series is set to get underway soon, and the series has found a new director for the pilot after Chernobyl’s Johan Renck was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Kantemir Balagov, a Russian filmmaker renowned for his work on the award-winning drama, Beanpole, is set to direct The Last of Us’ pilot. It appears this is the “modest” announcement that we reported on this morning.

Tying Balagov to the project shows a desire for a strong somber and serious tone for The Last of Us. Balagov’s work is in centered in dark and heavy dramas. Bringing that together with Chernobyl’s heavy drama and Druckmann’s original vision for the game all but ensures HBO’s The Last of Us will play a heavy focus on the emotional drama within its narrative.

Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin is still set to write and executive produce, and the original plan was to reunite him with Chernobyl director Johan Renck before Renck needed to drop the project. The Last of Us will adapt the story of Joel and Ellie for TV, providing a fresh perspective on the beloved PlayStation exclusive. Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann, who wrote and directed the game, is still set to helm the project alongside Mazin.

To show it’s dedication to the authenticity of the project, Sony is heavily involved with HBO’s The Last of Us. It’s a co-production among Sony Pictures Television. PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog. Carolyn Strauss, Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells, and Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan of PlayStation Productions are on as Executive Producers.

Sony says its efforts bringing the Tom Holland starring Uncharted film to theaters and The Last of Us to HBO are just the beginning of the company’s new media endeavors. While we’ve yet to hear any official word on upcoming plans for TV series and films based on PlayStation properties, the formation of PlayStation Productions indicates a desire to do more with the wealth of franchises Sony has in the vault. Rumors cropped up back in 2019 that a Twisted Metal series was being produced, but nothing more has been heard since. There have also been other projects in the past that haven’t seen the light of day, like the Sly Cooper animated series.

What other series would you like to see Sony dip into for PlayStation Productions? Are you more excited for the Uncharted movie or The Last of Us TV series?

[Source: Hollywood Reporter]

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