The Last Of Us, which was The A.V. Club readership’s astute pick for the best game of 2013, is set to become a live-action motion picture. As reported in a report from The Hollywood Reporter reporter Rebecca Ford, the game’s creative director, Neil Druckmann, will write the screenplay for a film adaptation of the post-apocalyptic zombie-virus survival game. That’s a departure from standard practice for game-to-film adaptations: The typical approach is to not give a shit who writes the movie and also to cast Dennis Hopper as Bowser.
It’s not clear how much Druckmann will need to (or choose to) rework his original script, as Joel and Ellie’s journey across the virus-ravaged American interior already hews closely to a three-act structure. Plus, the characters in The Last Of Us have depth and nuance, and their motivations feel humane and authentic. In other words, this isn’t exactly Mortal Kombat here. Naughty Dog, the game’s development studio, makes games with a cinematic feel—the developer’s Uncharted series has been described with the phrase “it’s like playing an action blockbuster!” on so many occasions that most critics have set up a keyboard macro so they don’t have to type the whole thing every time. That said, Naughty Dog has had some trouble making the jump from cinematic video games to cinematic cinema. A proposed Uncharted movie has been stuck in a desultory development process for years, with the latest news being that Seth Gordon is slated to direct, for now. There’s no director attached to The Last Of Us yet, but if Uncharted is the precedent, there will be plenty of directors to come.