Chernobyl's Johan Renck Will Direct HBO's The Last of Us Pilot

Director Johan Renck has confirmed he’s attached to HBO’s The Last of Us TV series as an executive producer and will direct the show’s pilot episode. Renck is known for his work on HBO’s Chernobyl and told Discussing Film he’d be attached to the series after he was asked if he’d want to collaborate again with Craig Mazin, the creator of Chernobyl. He said he’ll be directing “at least the pilot” and would see how it goes after that, so it sounds like there’s a chance we could see the director helming future episodes of HBO’s The Last of Us.

Mazin was known to be attached to the project since it was first announced as was Neil Druckmann, the writer and creative director of The Last of Us games who will serve as a writer and executive producer on the HBO series. The Last of Us Part II composer Gustavo Santaolalla is also on board with the project with Renck being the latest confirmed member of the team.

“I’m an executive producer on it and attached to it,” said Renck after being asked if he’d want to direct The Last of Us and work with Mazin again after Chernobyl. “It’s an ongoing TV series. So that’s not something that I will be able to take on to that extent, but I’m part of that series and I will be directing at least the pilot. Then we’ll see how it goes on further. I mean, both Craig and I, we are working with each other again and we will work with each other on other things because we like each other.”

Renck also talked about some of the differences between adapting historical characters versus pre-existing and well-known ones like Joel from The Last of Us games. He said someone like Joel is “very much top of mind” for anyone who’s played the games since they’ll know exactly what he looks like and how he acts. Renck said he, Mazin, and Druckmann had frequent calls to discuss how to approach the adaptation of characters like Joel.

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“So with the The Last of Us, this is something that we’re discussing,” he continued. “We’re having weekly calls, Craig and I and also Neil [Druckmann] who created the game, about various approaches and how to deal with that. How to deal with the fact that a video game character is way further than a character from a book.”

No casting decisions for HBO’s The Last of Us have been announced yet. The show doesn’t yet have a release date, but we’ll see The Last of Us Part II release soon for the PlayStation 4 on June 19th.

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