The Serie The Last of Us de HBO officially has a new director. The Oscar-nominated director for A Great Woman (Beanpole), Kantemir Balagov will direct the adaptation of Naughty Dog’s hit post-apocalyptic adventure game, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Beanpole, a drama centered on two women in Leningrad post-WWII, was selected as Russia’s entry for Best Picture of for the 92nd Academy Awards in 2019, but was ultimately not selected for the final gala. Beanpole earned Balagov the best director award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
Balagov also directed the drama Too close from 2017, a drama centered on the kidnapping of a young couple and their subsequent rescue.
Balagov’s bleak aesthetic is likely a key factor in HBO’s decision to hire him, likely ensuring a dark tone congruent with the harrowing story of the original game, and likely going well with the writer and executive producer. Craig Mazin. Mazin’s Chernobyl series was also known for being visually and thematically bleak.
It was originally reported that the project would reunite Mazin and Chernobyl director Johan Renck for at least the first episode, but THR is reporting that it was pulled due to a scheduling conflict.
The Last of Us series was officially approved by HBO in November of last year. The creative director and scriptwriter of the game, Neil Druckmann, is also writing and executive producing the series. In fact, he has confirmed the news on his Twitter account, welcoming Kantemir in the following way:
Kantemir is a brilliant director who shares our love for Joel and Ellie’s journey. Stoked that he’s joining the TloU family. https://t.co/TKJbUaff1f
— Dr. Uckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) January 15, 2021
“Kantemir is a brilliant director who shares our love for Joel and Ellie’s journey. I am excited that he is joining the TLOU family.”
Sony Pictures President and CEO Tony Vinciquerra announced in December last year that the studio is currently developing seven shows and three movies based on PlayStation intellectual properties. Vinciquerra did not clarify whether The Last of Us series and the Uncharted film were included in that count.
The Last of Us series does not have an official release date, but it is estimated that it will debut alongside the final season of The Walking Dead.