Bella Ramsey of The Last of Us, who takes over the role of Ellie for Ashley Johnson, believes that fans of the videogame will love HBO’s adaptation.
Bella Ramsey says that HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation does right by its beloved source material. Ramsey’s debut role in Lyanna Mormont was her breakthrough. Game of Thrones, HBO’s fantasy series. Last year it was announced that the (then) 17-year-old actor had been cast as Ellie in the premium network’s The Last of Us, based on Naughty Dog’s award-winning video game franchise.
Ramsey is not the only one. The Last of Us stars fellow Game of Thrones alum Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller, Nico Parker as Joel’s daughter, Sarah, Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess, Nick Offerman as Bill, and Merle Dandridge reprising her role of Marlene from the games. The series will also feature new, non-game characters in Jeffrey Pierce’s (who voices Tommy in the games) Perry, Murray Bartlett’s Frank, and Natasha Mumba’s Kim Tembo. Neil Druckmann, co-president at Naughty Dog is executive producing and cowriting. The Last of Us alongside Craig Mazin (Chernobyl). Season 1 will consist of 10 episodes. Follow Joel as he attempts to smuggle Ellie, an immune teenager, across the pandemic-ravaged United States. As PlayStation Productions’ first television series, there’s arguably more pressure on this video game adaptation than its predecessors.
In an interview with SheKnows, Ramsey discusses The Last of Us and adapting its beloved narrative. While acknowledging the IP’s dedicated fan base, the now-18-year-old actor says the show “follows the emotional beats of the game” and breathes new life into it. Read the full quote below:
I think people are going to love [the adaptation]. I know there were people worried about it, of course. When something is so precious to you as a viewer — as a gamer — of course, you’re going to be worried about the adaptation.
But honestly, I think people are going to love it. It very much follows the emotional beats of the game, and it’s very respectful of the game and honors the game. But [the live-action series adaptation] brings a new life into it. It explores different avenues that weren’t explored so much in the game. I do think people are going to love it. I hope they do. It was so much fun to make, such an experience. I hope that [audiences] feel that experience too when they come on the adventure with us.
The Last of Us is one of the most lauded games of the past decade. The franchise’s first entry (and its characters) resonated with players to the point that the sequel game, The Last of Us Part II, became one of the most divisive games of all time. This was largely due to its handling of the characters, which didn’t live up to some expectations. While HBO’s series has the first game’s award-winning outline, it still has to live up to its execution (not to mention Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson’s performances). Although filming has wrapped, fans have only caught glimpses of the series and have set to feast their eyes on a trailer.
The Last of Us set photos have shown Canada transformed into areas like post-apocalyptic Texas and the Boston Quarantine Zone. From the barbed wire and the clicker above to Ellie’s backpack, HBO’s adaptation looks promising. Ramsey previously called The Last of Us the biggest show she’d ever done – which means a lot coming from someone who worked on Game of Thrones. However, production value, attention to detail, and grit won’t be enough. The original game pushed the PS3 to its limits and had enjoyable gameplay, but its story reigned supreme. It’ll be interesting to see how the show explores “different avenues,” introduces new characters (no more NPCs), and surprises viewers without losing track of its central relationship. If it doubles down on Pascal’s Joel and Ellie, that should be enough to break the curse of video game adaptations next year.
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