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Last of Us series gets a Cannes winner to direct

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The upcoming The Last of Us series adaptation is moving along at HBO, with the recent announcement that Kantemir Balagov, Cannes award-winning filmmaker behing 2019’s Beanpole, is set to direct.

Scripted by Naughty Dog co-president (and Last of Us game director) Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin, The Last of Us was originally set to be directed by Johan Renck, who partned with Mazin on Chernobyl‘s five episodes. A scheduling conflict now sees Renck stepping down, with Balagov taking the director’s chair.

Beanpole was a big hit at 2019’s Cannes Film Festival, where it earned Balagov the Best Director award in the Un Certain Regard category. It comes as no shock that HBO is looking to tell a serious story with The Last of Us, given the source material’s grim tone. The news of Balagov’s involvement to direct the project would indicate that Mazin and Druckmann’s scripts are certainly less DOOM and more Children of Men, though time will tell.

Coming off of the critical acclaim and financial success of last year’s The Last of Us Part II, Sony seems to be backing a winning horse with the upcoming series. They’ve certainly kept it no secret that they’re looking further into screen adaptations of their gaming franchises, with the Unchartedmovie chugging along… eventually.

With principal photography not yet underway, expect the Last of Us series to be a ways off still, with a late 2021/2022 premiere.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter