The Last of Us showrunner clears up spin-off rumours

The Last of Us showrunner clears up spin-off rumours
Images via HBO

Written by 

Tom Chapman


18th Jan 2024 13:04

While we're all quite happy to get infected with the hype of HBO's The Last of Us, it doesn't sound like the live-action video game adaptation is going to be adding anymore shows to its mushroom hive mind anytime soon. Despite making its debut a year ago, there's a reason we're still talking about The Last of Us.

It's no secret that an adaptation of Naughty Dog's 2013 game was a struggle to get off the ground, with plans for Sam Raimi to produce a movie and Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams to play Ellie. Instead, The Last of Us clawed its way out of development hell and cast Williams' costars Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal as its leads.

The Last of Us showrunner clears up Bill and Frank confusion

Nick Offerman as Bill in HBO's The Last of Us
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Image via HBO

Of course, it wasn't just Ramsey and Pascal for nine episodes, as The Last of Us boasted stellar performances from Anna Torv, Melanie Lynskey, Scott Shepherd and more. The guest roles of The White Lotus' Murray Bartlett and Parks and Rec's Nick Offerman earned particular praise, with Episode 3 being a season highlight.

There's a reason that "Long, Long Time" swept the awards board, with Offerman even winning Outstanding Guest Actor for his portrayal of Bill at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for his role as Bill. Offerman set the rumour mill turning that he and Bartlett could be back, saying a Bill and Frank prequel had been pitched to HBO. Sadly, it was all pipe dream. 

Clearing up the confusion, showrunner Craig Mazin told Deadline, "I'm very proud of the episode we did with Bill and Frank," but admitted, "There won't be more Bill and Frank." The joke's on us, as Mazin explained, "Nick was joking about a prequel, that was kind of a joke. We are very happy with what we achieved."

The Last of Us probably won't go down the Game of Thrones route

Anna Torv as Tess in The Last of Us
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Image via HBO

We've already been told The Last of Us won't go beyond the source material of the games. While we've seen plenty of unique takes and odd tweaks (with more on the way), they have largely been to flesh out characters rather than dramatically change the story. Still, with only two games, there's only so much you can do. 

Mazin seemingly counts out prequels and spin-offs, but who'd have thought House of the Dragon would spawn from Game of Thrones? More likely, we're probably set for a few flashbacks - although not for Bill and Frank. Season 1 already had the surprise return of Torv as Tess, so here's hoping more are on the way.

It doesn't sound like Mazin has any spin-offs or prequels in the works, which is good news for those who are worried The Last of Us will go down the whole The Walking Dead route and dilute the acclaimed source material for a quick buck. As for flashbacks, we'd be sad if that major Part II death was the end of the road for a certain fan-favourite. 

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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