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Could a Change in Story Be Coming to the Last of Us movie?

August 10th, 2014 by Todd Black Comments

Movies becoming video games, and video games becoming movies is a rough thing to make. Sure, there have been a few hits, but there have been many more failures. One such adaptation from game-to-movie though seeks to change that. The Last of Us seems like the perfect Hollywood movie. End of the world, monsters, relationships, tough choices, it’s all there. So when the movie of the game was announced, many thought it would be an easy transfer. Turns out? Not so much.

According to MCVUK, the script for The Last of Us has gone through numerous rewrites and edits from the story the game provided. Why? Well, the 15 runtime of the game had something to do with it…

“In two hours you can’t tell the same kind of story that you can in a game like The Last of Us, which is 15 hours. I’m in the middle of it now, and it’s been super difficult because there’s so much that happens in The Last of Us, even just in the cinematics, that can’t fit in a film, let alone all the gameplay in-between and dialogue.” said Neil Druckmann, the writer and creative director of The Last of Us, who is also the screenwriter for the movie

To be clear, the movie is still set to focus on Ellie and Joel’s relationship, which was easily the most important part of the game story wise. However, what happens to them in the game may not be what gamers remember from the game itself:

“It almost has this novel quality as far as how much content there is. And a film works really well when it’s laser-focused, so the first part of it was like: well, what is this story really about? It’s clearly about Joel and Ellie. What are the most important beats that we can’t lose? Start with those, and cut everything else out.

It’s been really difficult to cut certain things out, but what I’m starting to get this is really focused narrative that’s about these two characters. Some parts will be similar to the game and some parts will be quite different, but it’s kind of interesting in helping me understand this other medium and its strengths compared to video games.”

What do you think? Is this a good move? Or is it asking for disaster by cutting out story elements? Let us know in the comments below!

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!