If you’re queer and like PlayStation, it’s a safe bet that the “Last of Us” series has been on your radar for a good minute. The post-apocalyptic game entices viewers to enter a zombified world where America has been infected by Cordyceps (yes, like the mushroom!) a fungal, viral disease that turns humans into “the Infected.” The non-infected citizens’ only protection are the Fireflies, a rebel army keeping the states on lockdown. The game’s second installment even had two queer heroes at the center: trans teen Lev and the bisexual Dina. Not to mention Ellie, the game’s ostensible main character, who is an out lesbian.
The HBO show promises not to back down from the game series’ queer content. But just how queer will this adaptation be? Well…
Word is out that at least one main character—Ellie, played by Bella Ramsay (best known as Lyanna Mormont from “Game of Thrones”)—will be openly queer. Nico Parker, Dumbo actress and daughter of Thandiwe Newton, will take on the role of Sarah, daughter of Joel (Pedro Pascal) who must transport Ellie across the perilously infected U.S. The show will have five different directors across 10 episodes, borrowing talent from previous HBO series’ “Chernobyl” and “Game of Thrones.” This is also the first TV series from Playstation Productions, which is now dipping its toes into the world of prestige TV.
The first film, which probably won’t come out until next July, will cover the events of the first game while getting at the “philosophical underpinnings” of the story, according to writer Neil Druckmann.
“Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus,” Director Craig Mazin said in a March statement. “Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I’m so honored to do it in partnership with Neil.”
How central will the queer characters be? Will their love stories be prioritized? We don’t know. But the fact that Ellie, the teen who might hold the cure to the whole apocalyptic mess, is going to be canon queer in the series speaks highly of the team’s choices already.