‘The Last Of Us’ Trailer Breakdown: A Befitting Live-Action Adaptation Of Hope In A Hopeless World

Pedro Pascal is one of God’s gifts to mankind. And to get him to star in a live-action adaptation of the highly acclaimed video game “The Last Of Us” is a way to bow to God’s will. The creators (of “Chernobyl” and “The Last of Us”) have understood this and brought to us what will seemingly turn out to be a captivating and horrifying emotional roller coaster, a true tribute to the beloved game.


Before talking about the trailer, here’s a brief summary of the story around “The Last of Us.” The year is 2033. Twenty years have passed since a brain-altering virus (Cordyceps brain infection) has affected around 60% of the world population, turning people into zombies and, finally, clickers (blind monstrous mutants who use their clicking sound as echolocation to find their prey). After WHO failed to find an antidote for the virus, the US Government handed over control to the military and homeland security. Martial law is put into effect in every city. Those who are unaffected are told to locate quarantine zones that will allow them to stay safe and away from those infected. Meanwhile, a rebel militia group called Fireflies was established in the years leading up to 2033. It aims to find a cure for the virus and restore lawful governance in the US. On this mission, they often lock horns with the military.

Joel, the protagonist, is a black-market smuggler who has only a handful of moral codes left to break in a post-pandemic world. The death of his young daughter Sarah has pulled all the emotions out of him, and he seems to be a man who can only exist in the world he is in and nowhere else. Unfortunately for him, Marlene, the head of the Fireflies, gives him the responsibility of taking care of 14-year-old Ellie, a brave little girl who is immune to the virus. Joel has to take Ellie across the infected US to reach the Fireflies as “cargo.” During the journey, they have to face many dangers together, and this is what strengthens the bond between the two.


In the live-action adaptation, we have Pedro Pascal (Red Viper in Game of Thrones Season 4; The Mandalorian; Narcos; The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent) as Joel and Bella Ramsey (Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones Season 6,7,8; His Dark Materials Season 2) as Ellie. Pascal’s work in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” “The Mandalorian,” and “Narcos” deserve special mention as these three projects gave us a hint of what he is capable of pulling off onscreen. Ramsey has also proven her “might” in Game of Thrones in the way she is able to give way to emotions that other actors her age can’t or struggle with. So, the chemistry between these two effective actors does look promising.

Coming to the trailer, there’s war, there’s destruction, and there’s a virus. All hope seems to be lost, and that is what poses the question, “If you don’t think there’s hope for the world, why bother going on?” This question is what the trailer begins with (voice of Ellie). It is clear that, just like the game, the show will have close-quarters stealth combat. Joel is certainly afraid of clickers and does whatever he can to avoid being seen by them. Somewhere in the West, people are working on a cure for the virus, and with Ellie being not just immune to the virus but even from the bites of an infected person (as shown by her bite mark in the trailer), she will be useful as well. Marlene (played by Merle Dandridge) tells Ellie that she has a greater purpose than anyone can imagine. This stresses the importance of Ellie’s life and establishes the need for vigilance that “The Last of Us” thrives on. Ellie can indeed save the world, but not all people will be helpful. So the stakes are as high as they can be. The trailer ends with a bloater emerging from debris along with other mutants. Bloaters are covered in a layer of white fungus that becomes their armor. They take years to arrive at this stage and are one of the most dangerous kinds of mutants that are an outcome of the Cordyceps brain infection.


From the looks of the stunning trailer, it is clear that the show will not pull punches while upholding the essence of the video game that people across the world have come to love. The dark environments, the tight camera shots, and the expanse of terrains of different kinds show the nature of the series as well as how personal it will be despite traversing a long journey. It is not just the horror or the action but the emotions that are involved in the two that put “The Last of Us” in a league of its own. Neil Druckmann, writer and co-director of the first game, and Craig Mazin, creator of Chernobyl, have created the show. Evan Wells, the CEO of Naughty Dog, the video game developer that made the game, is one of the show’s executive producers. Furthermore, the music was provided by Gustavo Santaolalla, the same guy who scored the video game soundtrack.

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Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata’s greatest regret is the fact that he won’t be able to watch every movie and show ever made. And when he isn’t watching a movie or a show, he is busy thinking about them and how they are made; all while taking care of his hobbies. These include the usual suspects i.e. songs, long walks, books and PC games.

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