It comes as no surprise to The Last of Us fans that today is the day that HBO dropped the first teaser for its upcoming adaptation of the hugely popular video game series.
It is, after all, The Last of Us day. Previously known as Outbreak Day—since Sept. 26 is the day in the video game that the zombie outbreak occurs—the fan event was renamed after a very real-life pandemic occurred.
Showrunners Neil Druckmann (who also wrote and created developer Naughty Dog's video game franchise) and Craig Mazin (HBO’s Chernobyl) really reveled in teasing fans about the show earlier in the morning, with a little "will they/won’t they" about a trailer drop.
Thankfully, suspicions were correct: HBO did unveil the show teaser, and it’s exactly what fans hoped for.
We see multiple looks at the impeccably recreated world of the game. It is a barren, dangerous, and threatening post-apocalyptic America. Business have been looted and tagged; buildings are fully crumbling and caving in. The streets are littered with dust and debris. Survivors—like our heroes Joel and Ellie—hide out from unseen monsters, escape in cars, on horses, and on-foot, and generally try to stay alive. It looks like a harrowing drama, a spitting image of the Last of Us video games.
The show will closely follow the plot of the game: Twenty years after a zombie outbreak, Joel is tasked with smuggling 14-year-old Ellie—who is immune to the zombie infection—across the country, to bring her to the militant rebel Fireflies in the hopes that they can use her to make a cure.
Also featured is Anna Torv as Joel’s partner-in-crime Tess; Gabriel Luna as Joel’s ex-Firefly brother Tommy; Nick Offerman as the prickly survivalist Bill; and newly-minted Emmy winner Murray Bartlett as Bill’s lover Frank. Fellow Emmys 2022 nominee Melanie Lynskey also appears in the teaser, although it is unclear what role she will play.
A few of the original voice and performance-capture actors from the video games will also pop up in the show. Merle Dandridge will reprise her role as head of the Fireflies Marlene and Jeffrey Pierce, who played Tommy in the game and its sequel, will take on a new, undefined role. HBO previously confirmed that Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who originated the roles of Joel and Ellie, will also appear in the show.
The Last of Us is set to drop on HBO sometime in 2023.