Why Naughty Dog Added Ellie’s Mother to HBO’s The Last of Us

Why Naughty Dog Added Ellie’s Mother to HBO’s The Last of Us

Updated: 2 months, 20 days, 4 hours, 47 minutes, 17 seconds ago

As we get closer and closer to the release of the new The Last of Us adaptation, more details about the show are coming to light. In a recent interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Neil Druckmann (the co-president of Naughty Dog) explained why Ellie’s mother was added to the live-action The Last of Us show.

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How the Show Differs From the Game

HBO’s The Last of Us will have some significant differences that will help differentiate it from the game and make it its own thing. Druckmann noted that the approach of a game and the approach of a TV show are very different.

Players stick with the main protagonist the whole play-through when playing a game. Therefore, it is improbable that you will get insight into what is happening in other characters’ lives. The few situations you learn about other characters are when the protagonist is near a specific situation, when you come across the protagonist and tell them what’s been going on, or the game swaps protagonists as players progress through the game, as was done in The Last of Us Part II.

However, in a TV show, the story is usually told through multiple characters’ perspectives and often leaves that main character’s perspective to help flesh out the world for audiences. Druckmann revealed that Naughty Dog plans to take advantage of this storytelling method in HBO’s The Last of Us.

Why the Inclusion of Ellie’s Mother? ellie's mother the last of us HBOellie's mother the last of us HBO

When Naughty Dog launched The Last of Us, several concepts were only thought of after the game was released. One of those concepts was including Ellie’s mother, Anna, in the storyline. It was a missed opportunity and something that Druckmann cared intensely for, so when the TV show came up, he jumped at the chance to bring it in finally.

Druckmann said, “And then there are other stories that were written since the game has come out for different projects that, for son reason or another, didn’t happen that when Craig and I started talking about the story and breaking it down, I mentioned some of those to him and he was wide-eyed like a fan and said ‘oh my god we got to put these on the screen, we’ve got to get them on the show’.”

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Bringing in Ashley Johnson

One of the best parts about the showrunners, including Anna in the show, is Ashley Johnson. We will not only be learning a little bit more about Ellie’s backstory, but the woman who brought the beloved character to life will also be bringing her mother to life. It’s an exciting element for The Last of Us fans and Druckmann.

“You got to see in the trailer we just put out that Ashley Johnson plays Ellie’s mom, and that was one of those stories that was near and dear to my heart and I’m so glad that it gets to live”.

HBO’s The Last of Us is quickly becoming one of the most highly anticipated shows.

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Tell us, are you excited to meet Ellie’s mother in HBO’s The Last Of Us?