Craig Mazin, the director of Chernobyl and upcoming HBO adaptation of The Last of Us, gave an interview to the BBC, where he discussed honouring the source material and strong emotions around the game.
Mazin stressed that fans shouldn't be worried about the artistic integrity of The Last of Us franchise, because they didn't license it to turn it on its head or change it in any way that doesn't do it justice.
"In this case, I'm doing it with the guy that did it [director Neil Druckmann]. And so the changes that we're making are designed to fill things out and expand. Not to undo, but rather to enhance", he said.
Chernobyl's director is a huge fan of the franchise and insists it's a dream come true for him. Nevertheless, he's clearly aware of the drama that arose around The Last of Us Part 2, judging by one of his comments.
"I'm a little scared because everybody's emotions connected to this game are rather intense [...] I think I'm gonna probably go hide in a bunker for a while because you can't make everyone happy", he added jokingly.
Mazin also commented on the inevitable chopping block, because The Last of Us is a lengthy game. Regardless of one's filmmaking prowess, cramming tens of hours is not what you go for.
"The joy of the story like The Last of Us is in its length. It's in the journey and in the slow creation of a relationship. [...] Our intention is that you will watch the show and say, 'This has violated nothing of what I loved about the game and what I witnessed in the game, but it has also brought me a whole lot more things I did not know", he said.
For what it's worth, Mazin is quite excited about working on The Last of Us and he almost spilt the beans on one of Druckmann's suggestions, but then just said it has made the cut. Nevertheless, having a fan direct such an iconic franchise is, dare we say, crucial, especially in light of the recent criticism.
Unfortunately, Mazin said that The Last of Us show will be done WhenIt'sDoneTM, so we'll have to wait a bit more for that.
You can listen to the interview here .