The Last of Us creators tease Ellie backstory deleted from games

The Last of Us: Official trailer for new HBO series

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After just two episodes, The Last of Us has fully cemented itself as one of the best video game adaptations of all time as die-hard fans and newcomers alike have been eating up the series. Following some gruesome encounters with the Clickers on HBO last Sunday, creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have revealed what viewers can expect from the rest of the season.

Mazin and Druckmann have promised fans they’ll learn a lot more about Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey) in HBO’s live-action adaptation of The Last of Us.

In the original PlayStation 3 game, Ellie joins Joel (Pedro Pascal) on a dangerous mission across post-apocalyptic America when it’s discovered she’s immune to the deadly Cordyceps virus.

The first two episodes of the series have remained true to the games so far, but the writer-director team have teased some huge departures over the coming weeks.

Among them is the introduction of Ellie’s mother, who came very close to being introduced in the game before plans came through.

“The one that shows up very late in the season is Ellie’s mom,” Druckmann confirmed.

“I had written a short story after we had shipped the game already. It was supposed to be an animated short, but it fell apart and didn’t come to be.”

The Last of Us was soon followed by a downloadable expansion (DLC), The Last of Us: Left Behind, in 2014, which explores two different chapters of Ellie’s life before and during the events of the first game.

Ellie’s mother was also nearly included in a similar expansion, but the plans never came to fruition.

“There was a moment where we almost made it as DLC,” the director told Variety. “But it fell apart.”

As the creative head behind both games in the franchise, it was important for Druckmann to pay his respects to the world he originally created for the PlayStation console.

Not only has the series lifted several sequences from the first game word-for-word, but the medium of TV has allowed the creators to explore pockets of The Last of Us universe fans have never seen before.

“In our conversations, I brought it up to Craig and he was immediately excited by it, or as he would say ‘activated’,” Druckmann recalled.

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“We brought it to life in the most beautiful, poetic way, which is Ashley Johnson playing Ellie’s mom and she was the original actor for Ellie.”

Although 39-year-old actress Johnson was too old to reprise her role as 14-year-old Ellie in live-action, she will still play an integral role in the new series.

While Druckmann and Mazin haven’t confirmed when she’ll appear, fans should expect to see a flashback featuring Ellie’s mother towards the end of the show’s nine-episode first season.

However, it’s not yet known whether Johnson will share the screen with Ramsey’s version of the character she originated almost a decade ago.

The series will also feature an appearance from Troy Baker, who provided the voice and motion capture for Joel in both of The Last of Us games.

This time he’ll be portraying James, a high-ranking member of a group of settlers who cause trouble for Ellie and Joel in the wilderness.

Several more characters from the games are set to appear, while there are also a number of new allies and adversaries set to be introduced over the coming weeks.

The Last of Us continues Sundays on HBO in the USA and the following Monday on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK.

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