Neil Druckmann talks about scaling down the Last of Us as the game is squeezed into movie format.
The Last of Us writer Neil Druckmann has been talking to MCV about the trials of adapting a video game into a movie, noting that the process requires some considered rewrites of some of the story.
“In two hours you can't tell the same kind of story that you can in a game like The Last of Us, which is 15 hours,” said Druckmann, who himself penned the original story for the game.
“I'm in the middle of it now, and it's been super difficult because there's so much that happens in The Last of Us – even just in the cinematics – that can't fit in a film, let alone all the gameplay in-between and dialogue.”
Druckmann does state that the core relationship between Joel and Ellie will be central to the film although other aspects will be changed dramatically.
“It almost has this novel quality as far as how much content there is,” he said “And a film works really well when it's laser-focused, so the first part of it was like: well, what is this story really about? It's clearly about Joel and Ellie. What are the most important beats that we can't lose? Start with those, and cut everything else out.
“It's been really difficult to cut certain things out, but what I'm starting to get this is really focused narrative that's about these two characters. Some parts will be similar to the game and some parts will be quite different, but it's kind of interesting in helping me understand this other medium and its strengths compared to video games.”
The Last of us movie is being made in collaboration with Evil Dead director Sam Raimi and is still in the early stages. While no roles have been firmly cast as yet, Maisie Williams, better known as Arya Stark from Game of Thrones is openly being pursued to play the part of Ellie.