In a report from Hollywood Reporter on January 15, the director tapped to handle the pilot episode for The Last of Us HBO Series was revealed. Originally, it was thought that Chernobyl director Johan Renck would step in as a director, a pick that would undoubtedly be fitting as Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin is already on board for the project. 

Unfortunately, due to scheduling issues, it sounds like Johan Renck won’t be teaming up with Mazin again for a new show after all. At least, not right now. Instead, a Russian director named Kantemir Balagov will have the opportunity to set the tone for the live action adaptation of The Last of Us

The Last of Us HBO Series Gets a New Director 

It’s official, director Kantemir Balagov will serve as the director of the pilot episode for The Last of Us HBO Series. Balagov will join Neil Druckmann, the creative director of The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II, and Craig Mazin, the creator of the award-winning HBO miniseries Chernobyl. 

On the surface, Kantemir Balagov seems an odd, yet interesting pick when it comes to directing the pilot for The Last of Us live action adaptation. Previously, Balagov directed two films shown at the Cannes Film Festival, Closeness (2017) and Beanpole (2019)

Closeness was the debut film from Balagov, and from the outset, his talent as a director was easy to see. Beanpole helped further cement that. And, looking at Beanpole in particular, we imagine that should The Last of Us HBO Series be directed in a similar way with a similar sort of tone, it would resonate well among fans of the game and non-fans alike. 

A separate example of this sort of resonance can be seen with the success of The Witcher on Netflix. After it was released, a sharp spike in people playing The Witcher 3 was seen which included both old players returning to replay the game, and new players looking to better understand characters like Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer. 

A similarly engaging live action adaptation of The Last of Us could have a similar effect, with those who’ve never played The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II flocking to the games to experience them firsthand. 

It may seem hard to believe that there are gamers out there who haven’t played The Last of Us, and there was a similar sentiment in regards to gamers who hadn’t played The Witcher 3. However, it can be easy to miss gaming gems like these two titles.

A live action adaptation can help introduce the story and characters and pique the interest of gamers in new ways, which is why it’s so exciting to hear that more and more of them are being produced.

For example, Craig Mazin is not only working on The Last of Us HBO Series, Mazin is also writing for a live action Borderlands movie directed by Eli Roth. We also know there’s going to be a live action Resident Evil adaptation on Netflix as well as a CG animated series called Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness

As of right now, we have no idea when the live action adaptation of The Last of Us will premiere on HBO. It seems that now they have a director for the pilot episode, Kantemir Balagov, we’re closer to getting something like a short teaser trailer than we were previously.

Of course, even a teaser trailer could be a long ways away. We’re hoping to hear more before the end of the year, but that’s cautious optimism at best. Stay tuned, as we’ll be sure to provide updates as soon as new information regarding The Last of Us HBO Series is announced.

Until then, what do you think of Kantemir Balagov directing the pilot episode for the adaptation? Let us know your thoughts over on Facebook and Twitter

Related: Netflix Resident Evil Series Will Be a Live-Action Original Take, First Details Revealed

Source: Hollywood Reporter