The last of us fans were treated to an extended explanation at the start of HBO’s second episode, revealing even more about the initial spread of the Cordyceps fungal infection. This opening scene showed that the original source of the infection was not just Jakarta, Indonesia, a piece of information that is new/different from the video games, but in the making of the first season, the series caused this infection to spread almost worldwide with a huge, global montage. Speaking about the latest episode of The last of us podcast of HBO, executive producers Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann shared how they created this key visual.
“That’s a huge departure from how we made the game,” Druckmann said of the show’s expansion into a global view. “The game is also so much like – it has an Americana love letter, and so (we) made a conscious choice that we will never leave the perspective of the United States.” At the time, Mazin revealed that their intent was originally even more global, adding: “We had this plan for this montage where we saw all these places in the world and what had happened to them, and we just had the money to do it. not before. But we thought it would be very interesting to see where it all starts.”
Mazin went on to explain his thoughts behind the opening scene of episode two and how the potential confusion for viewers who found themselves in Jakarta in the past was a gamble they were eager to cash out. “Well, one of the things that we can do in television that we can’t really do in something that’s ongoing, like a movie or a video game where someone can play all night if they want, we have episodes. That means we have starts and stops.”
He continued, “And the beauty of quitting is that you can start again. Every start is another chance to reorient or disorient people… You have these five, six minutes from the beginning of every episode of television where the audience is the most open and receptive they’ll ever be. They’re willing to be confused and baffled and amazed as long as you eventually get them on solid ground. And I think we knew we wanted to give a little bit more of an origin story We wanted to see what it would really be like from the very beginning because we’re all pretty smart about this stuff now and we also wanted to show that it was global, that this wasn’t something that just happened in America. This was the world.’
For more The last of us content, check out ComicBook and Entertainment Tonight’s new podcast: The Last of Pods. The podcast features breakdowns of each episode, interviews with special guests from the show, and more. The last of us airs every Sunday on HBO and HBO Max at 9 p.m. Eastern, with The Last of Pods debuting immediately after each show.
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