The Last of Us Showrunner Details Terrifying Change to Zombie Apocalypse That Could Come True

During the opening moments of HBO's The Last of Us, a scientist (played by The Mummy's John Hannah) warns everyone of a looming threat by the fungus of the world. According to the epidemiologist, fungi have exhibited the ability to infect animal hosts and control their movements. He then warns viewers that if the temperature of the world raises and the fungi evolve, it could infect humans. As it turns out, there's a terrifying truth to the warnings.

In a post-premiere interview with THR, The Last of Us showrunner Craig Mazin revealed that it's theoretically possible for mushrooms and other fungi to infect humans. "It's real — it's real to the extent that everything he says that fungus do, they do," Mazin told the trade. "And they currently do it and have been doing it forever. There are some remarkable documentaries that you can watch that are quite terrifying. Now his warning — what if they evolve and get into us? — from a purely scientific point of view, would they do exactly to us what they do to ants? I don't think so. I doubt it. On the other hand, he's right — LSD and psilocybin do come from fungus. What I told John was, 'What we're doing in this scene is telling people this has always been here.'"

The writer compared the idea to the Chernoybl nuclear disaster, saying it's a ticking time bomb.

"What was so chilling to me was that [the Chernobyl nuclear plant] blew up that night, but it could have blown up a week before or it could have blown up a month before," he said. "Which means that right now, there's something that's just waiting to blow up — you just don't know about it. It was so upsetting to say to people, 'We knew about this, it's been there, now we're gonna show you the night it finally happens.' Not suddenly, but finally."

Good luck sleeping tonight, friends.

For more Last of Us content, check out ComicBook and Entertainment Tonight's new podcast: The Last of Pods. The podcast will include breakdowns of each episode, interviews with special guests from the show, and more. The Last of Us airs on HBO and HBO Max at 9 p.m. Eastern every Sunday with The Last of Pods debuting immediately following each show.