It's safe to say that there's a ton of expectation resting on the back of HBO's The Last Of Us. In one corner you have HBO, a network almost incapable of pumping out anything other than ridiculously high-quality television. In the other we have The Last Of Us, one of the most critically acclaimed and beloved video games of all time.
It's certainly clear that the upcoming live-action series has the potential to be very special indeed. The original game's director Neil Druckmann has teamed up with Craig Mazin of the universally praised drama Chernobyl and assembled an all-star cast that includes Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) as Joel and Bella Ramsey (Game Of Thrones) as Ellie.
See our thoughts on The Last Of Us Part II below:
The sheer weight of the talent attached is enough to imply that HBO has a lot of faith - and subsequently a lot of money - invested in The Last Of Us. However, a new report suggests that the series could well end up costing more than HBO's fantasy mega-franchise Game Of Thrones.
The Last Of Us is currently filming in Calgary, Canada right now (as Pedro Pascal stalkers probably know). A recent piece published by local news outlet CTV News posits that the series is probably the largest film project in Canada right now, and that it's providing a hefty boost to the local economy. Forbes followed up on this with a quote from the IATSE 212 (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) President Damien Petti.
"This project well exceeds the eight figure per episode mark," Petti said, "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."
Eight figures per episode would mean that the minimum budget for each episode of The Last Of Us is $10 million. That means the ten-episode first season costs at least $100 million, and that's if we're assuming the absolute bare-minimum - don't forget Petti says that the project "well exceeds" the eight figure per episode mark.
Does that mean HBO's The Last Of Us could cost as much as $150 million for the season? While that's not a patch on the reported $465 million Amazon has put into its Lord Of The Rings series, it's still a hefty figure that would exceed the budget of the last few seasons of Game Of Thrones, which was costing around $15 million per episode by the time of its eight and final season. Whichever way you slice it, The Last Of Us is going to look damn good.
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