The Last Of Us TV Show: Troy Baker Talks About His Involvement

The voice of Joel talks about the HBO adaptation and his own involvement.

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While the Last of Us Part II has finally gotten an official release date, many of the details surrounding the HBO Last of Us TV show are still unknown. Back on March 6, Sony and Naughty Dog revealed that they would be teaming up with HBO to create an adaption of the popular series. In a recent interview with Fandom, Troy Baker has shared some news about the show.

Baker voiced and performed as the main character Joel in both the first game and the upcoming sequel. While the actor revealed that he hasn’t had much to do with the adaptation, he has a close friendship with Neil Druckmann, writer and executive producer of the TV and game series. Baker is also a massive fan of Craig Mazin, the head writer of HBO's Chernobyl, who is writing The Last of Us TV show with Druckmann.

“I’ve been a huge fan of Craig Mazin for a while now," Baker said. "So I was a massive fan [of the HBO series] going into it, not just because of Chernobyl, but because of [Craig] as a writer … he’s like the band that the bands listen to – everybody likes Craig! So I started following him on Twitter and he follows me back and I’m like, ‘Dude, I’m a massive fan of yours’, and he’s like, ‘I’m a massive fan of YOURS!’ We had this great Twitter DM love going back and forth."

“The thing that encourages me most [about the HBO show] is that while there were a lot of people in Hollywood that stood up and took notice [of The Last Of Us and its success] and were thinking, ‘Oh, a lot of people like this--we should turn it into a movie’, Craig came at it from a fan’s perspective. He just wants everybody to know this experience,” Baker said.

The actor went on to speak about how he asked Druckmann about why he wanted to make a TV showin the first place when the games are so strong.

“I asked Neil once, why even do a movie or a TV show?" Baker said. "What if this story can’t be told [outside of video games], why go through that effort? I remember when he was writing the film script and the challenges that he faced, and he said, ‘Because the reality is, there are people that will--for whatever reason--never pick up a controller and play this game, and I believe that Joel and Ellie’s story is that important to tell,'” Baker said

Despite Sam Raimi and Druckmann cancelling their original Last of Us movie project, Baker is confident in the TV adaptation working a lot better for the game’s episodic storytelling.

“I think that episodically you can far more effectively tell this story because trying to condense that experience of 16 hours into 2 hours is impossible… it goes past the point of distillation, into reduction," Baker said. "I think being able to do this episodically and go, ‘We’ll do this for say, three or four seasons’ and be able to almost 1:1 tell [ the story of the game] presents a great opportunity for more people to experience this story."

However, Baker still seems to believe that the original game is the best way to experience the story of Joel and Ellie.

“At the end of the day, man, the reason that it’s a game is because when you go from fall into winter — after Joel falls, and you think he’s dead--and you see that beautiful bunny on that pristine white snow, and the arrow… and then you notice for the first time that it’s Ellie by herself, standing there – and you push forward on the analogue stick--that is something that just doesn’t translate to any other medium but a game,” Baker said.

“Nothing else will ever be that. But I think [with The Last of Us TV show] we can come close. That we can give a different kind of experience for those who--for whatever reason--don’t want to have that type of interaction with the characters,” Baker said

The Last of Us Part II releases on June 19 for PS4. There is still no confirmed release date for the HBO adoption at this time.

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