HBO is currently working on a highly anticipated television adaptation of the popular game, The Last of Us. The post-apocalyptic series will stay relatively true to the game’s plot, although news broke yesterday about changes regarding the year the show will be set. The new HBO drama will reportedly take place ten years earlier than the game.
The 2013 action-adventure game, The Last of Us follows Joel, a smuggler who has been tasked with escorting a teenage girl, Ellie, across the US amid an outbreak of a mutant Cordyceps fungus that has ravaged the country. Humans who come in contact with the fungus become aggressive creatures known as the Infected. The Cordyceps brain infection first hit the US in Austin, Texas September 26, 2013. This day is aptly referred to as Outbreak Day.
In the game, Outbreak day led to hospitals in the US becoming overrun with patients as the infection spread nationwide, causing this new frenzied species of human to run rampant in the streets, attacking those not infected. A tweet from fan-run @NaughtyDogInfo has suggested that the new HBO series will change the outbreak year from 2013 to 2003, meaning that the majority of the series will take place in 2023 instead of 2033. A promotional poster from HBO seen in the tweet below confirms this, as well as a picture of a banner taken from the set of The Last of Us.
A Reddit post was made regarding the differing year where several fans speculated the reason for this change. While most commenters agreed that the change of year is not crucial, one account by the name of Dev-F suggested the different year could be down to budget reasons saying, “If you’re populating a postapocalyptic world, it’s cheaper and easier to get junky-looking cars, props, etc. from twenty years ago than from ten years ago.”
There is no official release date for HBO’s The Last of Us series just yet, but reports say a mid-to-late 2022 launch is expected as several episodes finished filming in December 2021.