HBO’s upcoming series based on Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us has now found its initial director. Kantemir Balagov, the 29-year old Russian director who is most well known for his work on Beanpole, has now been attached in the same role for the show.
This report comes by way of The Hollywood Reporter which says that Balagov is now officially signed-on to be directing the initial pilot of The Last of Us. Whether or not Balagov ends up directing other episodes in the series remains to be seen, but he’ll for certain be working on what is perhaps the most important episode of the series in its initial season.
Balagov’s attachment to The Last of Us has seemingly only come about thanks to scheduling conflicts elsewhere. Johan Renck, who previously worked on HBO’s Chernobyl alongside Craig Mazin, was apparently the first choice to direct the pilot episode but had to drop out due to conflicting timelines. It was after this point that Mazin, who is the showrunner of The Last of Us alongside the original game’s creator, Neil Druckmann, then ended up going with Balagov.
At the moment, there’s still not a lot that we know about this HBO iteration of The Last of Us, but the fact that a director has officially been chosen tells us that things are progressing quickly. Perhaps the most notable piece of news that many are still holding out for involves casting choices, specifically for the main two characters of the show in Joel and Ellie. For now, we don’t have a timeline or idea as to when these casting decisions will be announced, but with a director now attached and a full series already being ordered by HBO, it seems like only a matter of time until some major details start to come about.
How do you feel about this directorial choice for the show's opening episode? Be sure to give me your thoughts in the comments or over on Twitter at @MooreMan12.