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HBO's The Last of Us filmed an alternative ending, showrunner confirms

Richard Lee Breslin

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HBO's The Last of Us filmed an alternative ending, showrunner confirms

Featured Image Credit: HBO

An alternative ending was filmed for HBO’s The Last of Us, the TV series' showrunner has confirmed.

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The ninth and final episode of HBO’s critically acclaimed The Last of Us adaptation aired to a near-perfect reception. To be honest, it feels weird not having any new episodes to watch anymore. Well, that’s at least until season two arrives. The HBO series was a very faithful adaptation of its video game source material, sometimes to the extent that scenes and dialogue perfectly mirrored the game. During the final moments of episode nine, titled ‘Look for the Light’, Joel’s actions and Ellie’s subtle response would have come as no surprise for veteran fans. However, long-time fans would've been caught off guard by the alternative ending which was filmed, as confirmed by TV series co-creator Craig Mazin.

The Last of Us Part I launches on PC on 28 March.

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As reported by The Independent (via GQ), Mazin spoke about the alternative scene which was filmed by episode director Ali Abbasi. Here’s your spoiler warning for episode nine. “[Director Ali Abbasi] had this thought of just playing out this slightly longer, sadder version where Ellie says, ‘okay,’ and then she turns and walks away. And Joel looks after her,” explained Mazin.

He continued, “We see the two of them walking, not really together but apart, down towards Jackson. It lingers and then fades. There was something beautiful about it. Everybody was like, ‘What do we do?’ And there was that meta-discussion of, are the people that played the game going to be more annoyed that they didn’t get it just the way it’s supposed to be, or are they gonna be more annoyed that they only got what they had before? And then how will everybody else feel?”

“In the end, there’s something very specific about ending on that close-up of Ellie. Not knowing what comes next,” concluded Mazin. “Not knowing what she does. Does she walk away from him, does she walk with him, how does she feel? That moment gets suspended permanently.” It’s certainly not an uncommon practice to record an alternative scene for a TV series or movie for a number of reasons. Firstly, it gives the creators a potential alternative to go with and it's a great way to tackle spoilers should a leak occur, with the false ending making the rounds.

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What’s more, it will be interesting to see if this alternative ending will be included in the bonus features for season one of The Last of Us' home release on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD.

In related news, Naughty Dog and The Last of Us chief Neil Druckmann shared a teaser image for season two featuring Abby’s jacked arm. Speaking of which, it has been teased that The Last of Us could run for a further two seasons at least.

Topics: Naughty Dog, PlayStation, The Last Of Us, TV And Film

Richard Lee Breslin
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