It was heavily rumoured as a result of the trademarks filed by Sony last year, but now renowned Hollywood director Sam Raimi has signed on to produce a film based on the blockbuster PS3 exclusive title, The Last of Us. Screen Gems, a Sony subsidiary, will be in charge of distribution for the film.
The game’s creative director Neil Druckmann will write the screenplay and he will also take on the role of producer with the Naughty Dog co-presidents Christophe Balestra and Evan Wells.
“Screen Gems’ Brian Dukes and Eric Ling brought this game to my attention insisting we go after it. When I saw the quality of the storytelling, I knew the audience for this project was far greater than just the gaming community and that Neil Druckmann must write the screenplay. I am thrilled that SCEA’s Riley Russell was able to get me in front of Neil and Evan Wells to plead my case. And Sam and his team at Ghost House round out the perfect team to help realize Neil’s vision,” said Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper.
“Our partnership with Sam Raimi, Ghost House Pictures, and Screen Gems to develop a film based on ‘The Last of Us’ universe is a perfect fit,” said Wells. “Since our game released last June, we’ve talked with many companies about making a film, but we couldn’t have found better partners who share our creative vision and high standards. We look forward to collaborating with Sam, his team, and Screen Gems, to make a movie that will thrill fans of ‘The Last of Us’ and general audiences worldwide.”
One thing to consider, is the sheer brutality and solemn nature of the game and whether or not that same tone will be transferred to the film. With Sam Raimi being the director of the original Evil Dead, it’s safe to say he knows how to handle the horror and gore aspect of the story. But will Sony bring down the extremity of it all to receive a lower age classification for the film? The Last of Us was rated 18 here in the UK and made no half-measures to appeal to younger audiences, but in a time of rinse and repeat franchise films and remakes, would it be that unexpected to see a 12A/PG-13 rating? I for one hope for nothing less than a 15 rating, it can be argued that the level of violence/horror isn’t what makes the game the masterpiece that it is, but the moments of human/infected conflict make such an immense impact because of the intensity of your actions. The developers decided to explicitly show players the damage that their actions inflict, when you brutally cave in the face of an infected with a brick, there’s no hiding from it.
It seems inevitable that Ellen Page will be considered for the role of Ellie given the heavy links that were made between the two in the build up to the release of the game. But that doesn’t necessarily mean she could do the best job. Who knows who we will see cast for the role of Joel, who do you think will make for the best representation of the two characters?