Sony Screen Gems hosted a San Diego Comic-Con panel Friday for its film adaptation of The Last of Us game for the Playstation 4 and Playstation 3. The discussion revealed not only details on the producer, script, and direction the movie will take but a somewhat surprising reveal that Maisie Williams (Arya Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones) could play the critical role of Ellie.
The Last of Us movie will be produced by Evil Dead and Spider-Man veteran Sam Raimi and script writing duties to be handled Naughty Dog‘s Neil Druckman, who also wrote the game (via Collider and Coming Soon). A director has not been selected yet but Screen Gems agreed to give Druckmann and Naughty Dog final say over the role plus the screenplay, casting, and final cut. Druckmann and Raimi discussed the work they performed on the script already.
The Naughty Dog Creative Director cut the 15-hour game down to a 2-hour movie and made some dramatic changes, including the somewhat controversial ending. However, Raimi talked Druckmann out of some the more dramatic changes to focus on the emotional core of the game’s story between Joel and Ellie. It’s possible that the story elements from The Left Behind DLC could make their way into the final script, but Druckmann declined to give additional details. He did confirm that the truck ambush scene from the game is part of the script but he’s shooting for a different flow with how it connects the set pieces.
As for Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, Druckmann and Raimi said they have been in discussions with the youngest Stark female. The role of Ellie was performed by actress Ashley Johnson in The Last of Us and modeled after Academy Award winning actress Ellen Page. Both actresses are unfortunately too old to play the role of a 14-year old girl, though. Williams, who is 17, looks more the part but will have to work on converting her English accent to American if she gets the part.
Raimi films typically have a cameo appearance by Evil Dead veteran Bruce Campbell. The producer said they will find a place for him in The Last of Us movie if it can be worked out with the eventual director. So, when will we see The Last of Us on the big screen? It will be “years,” according to Raimi. They are still in the pre-production phases, but wanted to make the announcement at Comic-Con and released this teaser poster featuring an anonymous actress as Ellie.
This is the second Naughty Dog Playstation game attempting to be turned into a film. Uncharted is also currently in pre-production. Meanwhile, The Last of Us Remastered will be released to the PS4 by the end of the summer. Do you think either of these will see a movie theater and will it be the exception to the usual bad video game movie trend?
[Image via HBO, Sony]