The Last of Us: Troy Baker on HBO's TV Adaptation and Why the Games Are Still the Definitive Version

Prior to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic basically derailing everything, HBO and Naughty Dog announced that The Last of Us would be getting a series adaptation at the former. In case you missed it, Craig Mazin, creator of HBO's Chernobyl, is attached alongside Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann, who will help write and executive produce. Troy Baker, who voices Joel in the video games, recently commented on why he's optimistic about the adaptation, but also why he still thinks the best way to experience it is via video games.

"I think that episodically you can far more effectively tell this story because trying to condense that experience of 16 hours into 2 hours is impossible," Baked told Fandom during an interview. "It goes past the point of distillation, into reduction. I think being able to do this episodically and go, 'We'll do this for say, three or four seasons' and be able to almost 1:1 tell [ the story of the game] presents a great opportunity for more people to experience this story."

Even so, Baker thinks the whole "interactive" part makes the games a much more definitive experience for the franchise's story.

"At the end of the day, man, the reason that it's a game is because when you go from fall into winter — after Joel falls, and you think he's dead — and you see that beautiful bunny on that pristine white snow, and the arrow… and then you notice for the first time that it's Ellie by herself, standing there – and you push forward on the analogue stick — that is something that just doesn't translate to any other medium but a game," he said.

"Nothing else will ever beat that," Baked concluded. "But I think [with The Last of Us TV show] we can come close. That we can give a different kind of experience for those who – for whatever reason — don''t want to have that type of interaction with the characters."


What do you of what we've heard about the upcoming television series? Are you excited to play The Last of Us Part II when it releases? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!

It's currently unclear when HBO's The Last of Us adaptation might release. Carolyn Strauss and Naughty Dog president Evan Wells will also executive produce, and The Last of Us show is a co-production between Sony Pictures Television and PlayStation Productions -- which makes it the first television series for PlayStation Productions. PlayStation Productions also happens to be involved with the Uncharted film adaptation, which isn't surprising given that it's another Naughty Dog franchise. The Last of Us Part II, the upcoming sequel to the original video game, is set to release for PlayStation 4 on June 19th. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the upcoming HBO series right here.