Part of what makes “The Last of Us” a successful video game adaptation is that it wasn’t afraid of making major changes, especially in service of making it fit within the new medium of television. In episodes such as “Long Long Time” or “Endure and Survive,” they’ve added significantly more backstory to side characters like Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), or Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Kevionn Woodard) to fill time and make up for the long stretches of gameplay that wouldn’t be so engaging to put on screen. According to Druckmann, this approach to adaptation will continue with season 2.
“You can expect us to repeat the same process, which is we will look at what made that story special and what is the soul of that story. And that needs to remain intact,” Druckmann explained. “Then, the moment-to-moment beats and characters, they might stay the same, they might change. We will do what needs to happen to that story as it transfers from one medium to another.”
As a hardcore fan of the original game, I have to admit, I thought the series was actually at its very best when it was making up its own material, especially when it actively improved what was there before, such as David and his group of survivors in “When We Are in Need.” We should expect the adaptation of “Part II” to be radically different from the game, but that’s fine — the show and the games have become their own distinct works at this point.