The Last of Us creator explains how the pandemic has impacted the show’s handling of those infected

In a post-COVID world, it’s safe to say audiences might know a thing or two about infectious diseases. Enter HBO’s new apocalyptic romp; The last of us. Set for release on January 15th, this remake of arguably the greatest video game of all time will strike fear into the hearts of fans around the world.

Co-creators Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin discuss the upcoming show in an interview with Collider, and dive headfirst into the driving force behind their zombified wasteland of America. Cordyceps. You know, mushrooms. Fungus, mold and the yeast in your kitchen. All these awesome, weird, spore-filled things that live right under our noses.

In the game, cordyceps are directly (and terribly) responsible for the zombie outbreak. Craig Mazin tries to follow in those footsteps and discusses how the creatives behind the show expand on this concept of the very real world.

“Well, we wanted to base this show on as much science as possible. The game did it damn well, especially for a genre where it would be easy to say, “Oh, there are zombies, but the zombies are coming out of the ground.” Cordyceps is an intriguing concept, and it’s absolutely real. We wanted to push that a little further. We wanted to give ourselves as much realism as possible because the more real that is, the more we connect with the characters playing around in that space.”

The zombies of The last of us All have an incredibly mushroom-like appearance – and much like real mushrooms, they mature, grow or change completely. With these new-school brain-eaters in tow, the idea of ​​massive social contagion suddenly doesn’t seem far off. Add a pinch of post-pandemic paranoia, and Mazin thinks audiences will understand just how real a zombie outbreak of this nature could be.

“It was also important for us to recognize that audiences are smarter about pandemics than they were five years ago. We don’t want to pretend they don’t know. And actually, for a large part, this show starts out as it does, with that scene in the ’60s, saying, ‘Look, the context is, there’s viral pandemics and they’re pretty dangerous, but there’s something going on there it’s even worse.’”

Clearly the filmmakers behind it The last of us adaptation have taken great care in dealing with the beloved source material. Sure, there might be zombies, looters, and danger around every corner — but beyond that, this show seeks to delve deep into the very fabric of our humanity. With that in mind, there’s no telling how stunned we’ll be once this story of terror is released. The Last of Us creator explains how the pandemic has impacted the show’s handling of those infected

Lindsay Lowe

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