HBO has officially set the release date for its upcoming TV show The Last of Us.
The nine-episode first season of the highly anticipated video game adaptation will begin streaming on HBO Max in Sunday, January 15, 2023. As with other HBO-produced shows, UK viewers will be able to watch the series premiere in the early hours of Monday, January 16, 2023 on Sky Atlantic and Now.
Confirmation of the release date of the TV show The Last of Us comes through HBO itself, which inadvertently broke the news (opens in new tab) a day earlier via a dodgy description on the HBO Max preview list of the series.
To the edge of the universe and back. #TheLastOfUs premieres January 15 on HBO Max. pic.twitter.com/O9EZ73MVXrNovember 2, 2022
A big-budget adaptation of developer Naughty Dog’s seminal PlayStation title – which, incidentally, is our top pick for the best video games of the 2010s – HBO’s The Last of Us TV show will also include elements from its sequel, The Last of Us 2, and occasionally “stray too far” from the source material, said showrunner Neil Druckmann.
HBO’s official synopsis for the series reads as follows: “[The Last of Us] takes place 20 years after the destruction of modern civilization. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts out as a small job soon becomes a brutal and painful journey as both must cross the US and depend on each other to survive.”
The Mandalorian himself, Pedro Pascal, is playing Joel on the show, with Game of Thrones co-star Bella Ramsey as Ellie. Merle Dandridge, Nick Offerman, Gabriel Luna, Storm Reid, Anna Torv and Nico Parker were also confirmed. Meanwhile, original The Last of Us voice actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who voice Joel and Ellie, will also appear in some capacity.
There’s still no confirmation on how many seasons HBO is planning for the series. However, Baker provided a vague “three, four seasons” window being needed to match the game’s story beats at an appropriate pace – rather than restricting the story to a single hurried season.
“I think episodically you can tell that story much more effectively because trying to condense that 16-hour experience into [a few] hours is impossible… it goes beyond the point of distillation, in reduction,” Baker said in an interview with GameSpot (opens in new tab). “I think being able to do this episodically and say, ‘We’re going to do this for, say, three or four seasons’ and being able to say almost 1:1 [the story of the game] presents a great opportunity for more people to try it.”
HBO has fleetingly referenced “future seasons” beyond an initial first season, though any sequels are likely to depend on the success of the first season. Either way, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about The Last of Us TV show on a dedicated page, which we’ll update as we get closer to the series’ premiere on January 15th.