The Last Of Us showrunner explains the reason for the show’s timeline shift

We shouldn’t be the only ones who think alternate timelines can get a little messy. If Marvel has taught us anything, it’s that bouncing around willy-nilly over time has the ability to cause problems. Ditto for any show that attempts to correct narrative decisions with either a forward time leap or a backward leap. Good, The last of us Showrunners seem to agree, and their solution to this age-old problem is absolutely brilliant.

For the unknown; takes place in an apocalyptic America, The last of us follows Ellie and her disgruntled father figure Joel as they traverse a zombified wasteland. Complete with murderous bandits, haunting cannibals, and bad luck at every turn, this adaptation of the legendary video game is sure to have us shielding our eyes. At least during the scary parts.

In reinventing the story for television, the filmmakers responsible faced a dilemma – the game’s prologue The last of us is set in 2013. Now, almost 10 years later, as were the co-creators Craig Mazin (chernobyl) and Neil Druckmann (the original director of the game) will correct this for the series?

After the legendary opening of the game, we jump forward in time by about 20 years; straight into the 2030s. That wasn’t credible enough for Mazin and Druckmann. During a roundtable interview attended by entertainment news agency Inverse, the two creative leads shared their thoughts on the upcoming HBO adaptation, and Craig Mazin didn’t hold back.

“I have this leap into the future thing, I feel like if I’m watching a show and the year is 2023 and the show is in 2043, it’s just a little less real. Even if I see a show in 2023 and it’s in 2016, it’s a little less real.”

Their solution was to take the prologue for the story and set it 10 years before our present to ensure that most of The last of us will take place in 2023. chill, we know.

“I thought it might be interesting to just say, ‘Hey, look, in this parallel universe, this is happening right now. It’s happening this year…”

A show like The last of us couldn’t come at a more interesting time. In the wake of a global pandemic, a show about infectious cordyceps destroying humanity seems a bit on the nose. Thankfully, Neil Druckmann and Co. have kept this in mind.

“We really didn’t want to do a show about COVID-19,” says Druckmann. “We wanted to do something more universal. The ‘Spanish Flu’ had a huge impact on how it affected people, how people died, how they were severely marginalized, how they became xenophobic, and their cities.”

As we near the show’s January 15 release date, our suspicions have been confirmed — the people responsible for bringing it The last of us to life clearly take great care. With any luck, this new series will be a shining example of what a video game retelling can really be. The Last Of Us showrunner explains the reason for the show’s timeline shift

Lindsay Lowe

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