Sam Raimi and his Ghost House Pictures banner have signed on to produce a live-action movie based on the popular PlayStation3 video game “The Last of Us,” which will be distributed by Screen Gems, the company announced Thursday.
Naughty Dog developed the game, and its creative director Neil Druckmann will write the screenplay. Druckmann will also produce with Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, as well as game director Bruce Straley and Raimi.
Released in June of 2013, “The Last of Us” follows hardened survivor Joel and a young girl named Ellie Ellie on their journey through a radically transformed world. Set 20 years after an infectious pandemic ravaged the course of humanity, these two people, who were brought together by chance, must make life-altering decisions in order to survive. “The Last of Us” explores themes of survival, loyalty, love, and redemption in an emotionally charged expedition across a post-epidemic United States.
“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.”
“The Last of Us” has received worldwide recognition for its innovation in storytelling and gameplay, garnering over 200 global Game of the Year awards from notable outlets such as USA Today, E! Online, Yahoo!, and IGN. The post-apocalyptic video game also won a WGA award for “Outstanding Achievement in Writing for Video Games” and leads nominations for BAFTA’s video game awards.
The news was first reported by Deadline.