Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann has explained how the idea of putting Ellie's mother into HBO's adaptation of The Last of Us came to be.
As we get closer and closer to HBO's The Last of Us, more details have been released about how the adaptation has chosen to stick to and differentiate from the source material. One of the most interesting ways that it's done this is by showing Ellie's mother (played by Ashley Johnson), who was only ever referenced in notes and by other characters in the game. Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann has detailed in a recent interview how the choice was made to include Anna.
During an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Druckmann speaks about how the story can be approached differently between a TV show and a game, noting that the show can leave Joel and Ellie's perspective to flesh out some of the other characters and strengthen their interaction with the main duo. Druckmann then goes on to reveal that concepts written after The Last of Us launched have been added to the HBO version, noting that Ellie's mother is one of these.
Druckmann said, "And then there are other stories that were written since the game has come out for different projects that, for one reason or another, didn't happen that when Craig and I started talking about the story and breaking it down, I mentioned some of those to him and he was wide-eyed like a fan and said 'oh my god we got to put these on the screen, we've got to get them on the show'."
Druckmann continued, revealing that Anna is one of the specific ideas that was added to the show from this mindset, "You got to see in the trailer we just put out that Ashley Johnson plays Ellie's mom, and that was one of those stories that was near and dear to my heart and I'm so glad that it gets to live".
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