It’s been a while since we had any updates on the movie version of The Last Of Us, Sony Pictures’ big-screen adaptation of the award-winning, post-apocalyptic survival game, and the latest news on that front isn’t going to inspire much confidence in the project making the leap from game console to movie screen.
Back in April, Neil Druckmann — the game’s director and the screenwriter for the film — indicated that the adaptation was in “development hell” for various reasons. Sam Raimi, who serves as a producer on the film, has now offered some hints as to why the project stalled out.
“Well, unfortunately that one — when we went to Neil with Ghost House Pictures we were hoping to get the rights like we do any project and then we’d take it out and sell it but we’d control the rights,” explained Raimi, who was asked about the status of The Last Of Us by IGN during a recent press event for the thriller Don’t Breathe, which he also produced. “With this one he went to Sony, who I have a very good relationship with, but they have their own plans for it and I think Neil’s plan for it … I’m not trying to be political, [but] Neil’s plan for it is not the same as Sony’s.”
Raimi then explained why he’s not able to exert any influence on the project’s movement through the development cycle.
“Because my company doesn’t have the rights, I actually can’t help him too much,” he continued. “Even though I’m one of the producers on it the way he set it up, he sold his rights to Sony, Sony hired me as a producer by chance, and I can’t get the rights free for him so I’m not in the driver’s seat and I can’t tell you what Sony and Neil together will decide on. If they do move forward I’d love to help them again.”
The Last Of Us follows a pair of survivors — a gruff, battle-weary older man and a young, capable girl — on their journey through a world ravaged by an infectious disease that turns humans into terrifying creatures. The game’s premise was inspired by real-world diseases, and was critically acclaimed for the way it handled the themes of survival, loyalty, morality, and redemption over the course of the duo’s adventure.
Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams was previously reported to be a leading contender to play the young girl Ellie in the film, but the project’s uncertain status has likely eliminated that possibility.
There’s currently no timetable for The Last Of Us to move along in the development cycle.