'HBO triumphs with 'The Last of Us' but did Sam Raimi almost derail it?

    HBO's 'The Last of Us' was almost a Sam Raimi-directed movie, reveals Jeffrey Pierce. But would it have matched the series' success?


    Ah, Hollywood. A land of dreams, and sometimes, dream diversions. HBO's 'The Last of Us', the sensation that is, could have been very different. Picture it, if you will: not a nail-biting series but a two-hour film. Who's at the helm? None other than Sam Raimi. But as Jeffrey Pierce spills to EW, maybe it's best left as a "what if."

    A Movie? Raimi and the Great Debate

    Imagine a world where HBO's record-smashing 'The Last of Us' was condensed into a mere 120-minute spectacle. Jeffrey Pierce, the man behind the enigmatic Perry, recalls a time where this was almost reality. A secretive table read at Sony's Screen Gems had him crossing paths with director and producer, Sam Raimi. The goal? Bring to life a movie adaptation.

    But Pierce wasn’t sold. "As good as it was, it was never gonna be a great movie," he candidly remarked. The complexities, the nuances, the sheer magnitude of the storyline created by Neil Druckmann — how could it possibly be distilled into two hours?

    Adaptation Adventures: Raimi's Vision to HBO’s Execution

    The ride wasn’t just bumpy; it was a rollercoaster. Before HBO's vision, there were talks of an "animation motion-capture movie series". Again, Pierce wasn't convinced. But the tide turned when Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin joined forces. To that, Pierce joyfully recalls, "I knew that the two of them were gonna make something just about perfect."

    As it stands, Pierce’s Perry, with his Kurosawa ronin vibes, adds layers to 'The Last of Us'. He gushes over Gabriel Luna, HBO's Tommy, praising his dedication to the role.

    Tales of What Might’ve Been

    The direction for the movie, according to TheGamer, seemed contentious. Studio execs envisioned a World War Z vibe, while Druckmann leaned towards No Country For Old Men. But in this tug of creative war, HBO emerged victoriously, delivering an adaptation that captured and captivated.

    So, here's raising a glass to choices, paths taken, and paths avoided. 'The Last of Us' thrives in its episodic glory, and perhaps, just perhaps, some things are meant to be.

    (Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)