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21st Jul 2021

HBO’s The Last Of Us adaptation is one of the most expensive TV shows ever made

Rory Cashin

The first on-set photos have been revealed this week.

TV shows are slowly but surely becoming just as expensive as movies to produce, if not even more so.

While there was a time when shows would rack up massive budgets because the cast would start demanding millions per episode – the likes of Friends and E.R. at their peak, for example – more and more shows these days are ballooning their budgets before a single person even steps on to the set.

The final season of Game Of Thrones cost a whopping $15 million per episode (which probably goes some way to explain why there were so few episodes in that final season), while Disney’s new Marvel shows – WandaVision, Loki, Falcon and the Winter Soldier – reportedly cost $25 million per episode.

But that was when the shows were ending, or for single, one-off seasons (which WandaVision and F&WS were), which is where HBO’s upcoming adaptation of the hit video game series The Last Of Us differs.

According to a report by Forbes, the first ten-episode season will cost at least $100 million, or a minimum of $10 million per episode. Across the cost of the entire first season, that would make it more expensive than the final season of Game Of Thrones, and The Last Of Us is only beginning!

Although they all still pale in comparison to the jaw-dropping budget of Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings show.

The folks at HBO have confirmed that the show won’t just be a copy-and-paste retelling of the game’s story, with Neil Druckmann (the director of the game) and Craig Mazin (the writer of HBO’s phenomenally good Chernobyl mini-series) sharing scripting duties.

Kantemir Balagov (Beanpoll) is directing the show’s pilot episode, with Ali Abbasi (Border) and Jasmila Zbanic (Quo vadis, Aida?) also listed as directors of episodes in the first season.

Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) has been cast as Joel, Gabriel Luna (Terminator: Dark Fate) as his brother Tommy, and Nico Parker (Dumbo) as Joel’s daughter Sarah. We also know that Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones) will be playing Ellie, and Merle Dandrige (The Flight Attendant) will star as Marlene.

A local passerby in Canada discovered the set this week, with production now finally set to begin in full, and posted some pictures on their social media account (pics below!).

The Last Of Us is expected to arrive on HBO (and perhaps NOW and Sky Atlantic over here) in Late 2022.