It’s been a while now since it was announced that a movie based on the hit video game The Last of Us was on the way, and that Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams was attached to star.
One of the producers on the project is none other than Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Spider-Man) through his production company Ghost House Pictures. Raimi was asked this week where things stood on The Last of Us, and thankfully he was able to at least give us an idea of the current status. You can see what he had to say below.
Back in April the game’s creative director Neil Druckmann, who also penned the screenplay for the movie, offered an update that didn’t sound very promising:
“I know I said in an interview a while back we had a table read, got the script to a good place and it kind of entered development hell like these things tend to do. … There hasn’t been any work done on it in over a year and a half.”
Unfortunately, Raimi’s update will make those who were eagerly anticipating the movie even more depressed:
“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. 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 — Neil’s plan for it is not the same as Sony’s. And because my company doesn’t have the rights, I actually can’t help him too much. 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.”
This doesn’t mean that the movie is officially dead yet. In fact, Raimi says he is still attached to produce it. He’s just not sure what that means at the moment:
“Yes, I’m attached to it. I’m not too sure what that means. Right now it’s just sitting there. They don’t want to move forward, and it’s not my place to say why, and Neil, I think, is in a slight disagreement with them about how things should go so there’s a standstill. And I don’t have the power to move it.”
Personally, I wouldn’t be shocked if the movie never got made. Clearly the game’s developer, Naught Dog, is very protective of their properties—movies based on both this and their Uncharted series have had trouble getting made—and they should be. They have every right to want any movie adaptation to be as good as it possibly can be, and if it doesn’t meet their standards, it should not move forward. But that also doesn’t play well with how Hollywood does things. They need to ensure that a movie appeals to a far larger audience than just the fans of the source material.
Perhaps some of best games ever made should simply remain great games. While many are eager to see what movies based on these games will look like—and who knows, still might—fans won’t be too upset if they don’t happen. Instead, it will be just another excuse to dive back into those wonderful game worlds.