While many are asking what the next Game of Thrones will be for HBO, the budget for The Last of Us shows HBO may have already made their decision. While no firm numbers have been released or leaked, a CTV report citing comments from International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees's Calgary president Damian Petti about the production.
"I cannot confirm the official budget numbers but will say it is likely the largest project shooting in Canada," Petti tells CTV. "[This project well exceeds the eight figure per episode mark, so there is a multiplier effect on our economy in terms of its impact. There are hundreds of related businesses benefitting from the plethora of work."
"This week is going to be extra exciting as our Fort Macleod office has been transformed into a gun shop for this weeks filming of the HBO series #TheLastofUs"
via: John Guliker - Royal LePage | Facebook pic.twitter.com/My1n8j7zT8— The Last of Us Updates (@TheLastofUsNews) July 19, 2021
Production on the series is reportedly set to begin soon in Fort Macleod, Alberta, putting down some foundation for a 12-month shoot. According to SyFy, the eight figures per episode tease places the video games-based series spending as much or more than Game of Thrones. The final season of the George R.R. Martin epic clocked in at $15 million per episode.
"The Last of Us which commences photography this week is indeed a monster," Petti continued. "It has five art directors and employs an army of hundreds of technicians. It has had six months of prep and shoots [in Alberta] for 12 months."
Based on the beloved Naughty Dog franchise and its sequel, the series has another tie to Game of Thrones already in place. Westeros alums Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey have landed the primary roles of Joel and Ellie, respectively. Pascal is also keeping a firm hold on other pop culture circles with his role on The Mandalorian.
‘The Last Of Us’: Jeffrey Pierce, Murray Bartlett, Con O’Neill Join HBO Series Based On Video Game https://t.co/dfHSqTUqcc— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) July 15, 2021
Agents of SHIELD alum Gabriel Luna will play Joel's brother Tommy and there will actually be a few from the game returning to play their characters on the screen, including Merle Dandridge as Fireflies leader Marlene. She voiced and played the same character in the original game.
After the Alberta production wraps up, The Last of Us will shift to Calgary for more production ahead of a planned premiere in 2022. Will fans finally find satisfaction with a video game adaptation this time around or will it stray too far for the fanbase? No matter what, HBO clearly aims to give the show its best shot.