The Last of Us: why does the series start in 2003 and not 2013?

The story of The Last of Us series begins in 2003 instead of 2013 in the video game. The co-authors of this adaptation explain this change in temporality.

The American channel HBO on Sunday aired the first episode of its adaptation of one of the main games for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It includes notable changes in the source material. Fans of the franchise were really surprised to find a different temporality. Indeed, The Last of Us starts in 2003, not 2013 in the game.

The Last of Us begins in 2003, Mazin and Druckmann justify themselves

In December last year, the co-creators of the series gave an interview to Insider. They shared some interesting details about the development of this adaptation. This interview lets us know, in part, that choosing a temporality other than a video game is Craig Mazin’s idea. For the latter, the beginning of the plot a decade earlier only strengthens the credibility of the work. He admitted that he feels less interested when the action takes place twenty years in the future.

The plot, which begins in 2003, will take place in 2023, with the main elements of the story set in 2023. This can help viewers connect more closely with the series. The events of the latter may take place in a parallel universe. Mazin’s goal is to make such an impression.

The change of temporality also gave Mazin the opportunity to explore the first half of the 2000s, the co-author of the series does not hide his passion for this historical period. The aesthetics and technology typical of this period seduce him. The Last of Us, which was released back in 2003, also allowed more material to be included in the adaptation. This is also emphasized by Neil Druckmann’s script partner.

  • How to watch The Last of Us for free
  • The HBO series airs in France on Prime Video.
  • The streaming platform offers a 30-day free trial to decide. Which allows you to watch The Last of Us for free.

Not a Pandemic Show

The coronavirus has significantly disrupted the production of this adaptation. It would be easy for the show’s co-creators to draw inspiration from the health crisis. Reality and fiction had some common features. As with the Covid-19 pandemic, a virus appears out of nowhere and paralyzes the planet in The Last of Us, but Druckmann couldn’t focus on that aspect.

The writer of Naughty Dog’s flagship title didn’t want this TV adaptation to focus on the pandemic streak. The latter is just part of the story, Druckmann notes in an interview with Insider.

The plot of the series, as well as the game, is focused on finding a cure. It is for this reason that Joel Miller and young Ellie, two characters from the series and the game, travel across the United States. Thus, the Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann series will focus on the Miller-Ellie couple. The episodes should show the evolution of the relationship between the two characters during their adventures.

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