HBOs "Last Of Us" Projected At $100 Million Per Episode; More Than Game of Thrones

Fans of the Naughty Dog’s zombie thriller will be pleased to see their favorite video game getting its highly anticipated television adaptation. While game-to-screen adaptations have previously proven to result in flops (i.e., Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter), HBO and Sony Pictures Television have some pretty big plans for this late 2021/early 2022 release. There’s a pretty big price tag on the show to go along with it: around $100 million per episode!

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HBO’s been making some pretty hefty promises with the upcoming installments to George R.R Martin’s Game of Thrones franchise. But they’ll have to step it up to keep up with Amazon Prime and their larger than life adventure retelling of Lord of the Rings, which is expected to cost more than $465 million for one season.

Though, the platform may have found its biggest cash cow as The Last of Us is projected to be one of the most ambitious – and costly – productions the history of television has seen. The intensive filming phase recently commenced in Alberta, Canada and has employed hundreds of local crew members to carry out the massive feat.

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The Last of Us, which commences photography this week, is indeed a monster. 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,” President of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ 212 division, Damian Petti told Calgary TV News,

“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.”

Forbes points out that The Last of Us’ eight figure production budget will likely be well over that of Game of Thrones’ eighth and last season – which cost $15 million per episode within a six episode season. This sits the final season total cost at $90 million, a benchmark that is expected to be breached by the new zombie filled action show.

HBO gave the reigns of producing the series to Sony Pictures Television. The production company certainly has its hands full as it’s also filming a movie adaptation of Naughty Dogs’ fellow hit game Uncharted.

At a CES conference in 2021, Sony’s President and CEO Jim Ryan exclaims that these two upcoming releases are, “just the beginning of the expansion of our storytelling into new media and even wider audiences.”

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Sources: Calgary TV News, Forbes, IGN

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