The Last of Us Pilot Director Kantemir Balagov Confirms Filming Wrap

With a cast that includes Pedro Pascal (Joel), Bella Ramsey (Ellie), Gabriel Luna (Tommy, Joel's younger brother), Nico Parker (Sarah), Merle Dandridge (resistance leader Marlene), Jeffrey Pierce (Perry), Murray Bartlett (Frank), Con O'Neil (Bill), and Anna Torv (Tess), it's understandable that fans would be eagerly-anticipating the first footage to come from Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin's HBO adaptation of The Last of Us. Thanks to pilot director Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole, Closeness), there might just be a light at the end of the production tunnel with word that filming on the series pilot has officially wrapped.

The Last of Us is coming to HBO (Image: WarnerMedia)
The Last of Us is coming to HBO (Image: WarnerMedia)

"My job here is done. I'm really grateful for the opportunity. It was a great experience with ups & downs," Balagov wrote in the following Instagram post to the entire team, followed by a list of folks they specifically wanted to offer love to before wrapping with "Back to Mother Russia"- here's a look at the post:

Based on the critically acclaimed video game developed by Naughty Dog exclusively for the PlayStation platforms, the story takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel (Pascal), a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie (Ramsey), a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone to the Fireflies, a cure-searching organization. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

Ramsey's Ellie is a 14-year-old who has never known anything but a ravaged planet, struggling to balance her instinct for anger and defiance with her need for connection and belonging … as well as the newfound reality that she may be the key to saving the world. Luna's Tommy is Joel's younger brother- a formal soldier who still holds on to his sense of idealism and hope for a better world. Dandridge's Marlene is the head of the Fireflies, a resistance movement struggling for freedom against an oppressive military regime, while Parker has been tapped for the role of Joel's daughter, Sarah. Pierce is set to recur as Perry, a rebel in a quarantine zone. Bartlett has been cast as Frank and O'Neil as Bill, two post-pandemic survivalists living alone in their own isolated town. Torv's Tess is a smuggler and hardened survivor in a post-pandemic world who (at least in the video game) works with Joel to survive and smuggle weapons in & out of Boston, and accompanies Joel on the mission to smuggle Ellie to the Fireflies.

Written by Mazin and Druckmann with Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole, Closeness) directing the pilot, the series is set to be executive produced by Carolyn Strauss (Chernobyl, Game of Thrones), Naughty Dog's Evan Wells, PlayStation Productions' Asad Qizilbash & Carter Swan, Mazin, and Druckmann. The series is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, with PlayStation Productions, Word Games, and Naughty Dog producing. Academy Award nominee Jasmila Žbanić (Quo vadis, Aida) and Ali Abbasi (Border) joins pilot-director Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole, Closeness) in the director's chair.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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