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The wait is finally over. The Last of Us will begin streaming on HBO Max on Jan. 15. The upcoming series has been much anticipated, specifically by video game fans. While video game fans are sure to make up a large portion of the show’s viewership, it is likely to collect new fans, too. After all, The Last of Us sets out to revive the zombie genre. The upcoming series isn’t original content, though. So what is upcoming action series based on? We have all the answers. 

What is HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ based on? 

The upcoming HBO series, The Last of Us, is based on a video game franchise of the same name. The original game was released in 2012 to rave reviews. In 2020, a second installment of the game was released by Playstation, once again to rave reviews. 

Like several others in the action-adventure genre, the game has amassed a huge following of extremely loyal and extremely passionate fans. That could be a good thing or a bad thing for HBO. In the best-case scenario, the show will have a built-in fan base. In the worst-case scenario, fans will hate the live-action version of their beloved game. It really could go either way. 

Will the TV show follow the games’ storylines exactly? 

In the original game, The Last of Us, Joel is forced to help Ellie, a teenager, find her way across a dangerous landscape in a post-apocalyptic world. Along the way, Joel and Ellie grow close, despite a strained early relationship. Joel ensures Ellie’s survival in a new quarantine group. 

Promo image for 'The Last of Us,' one of several new shows to watch this week
Bella Ramsey and Pedra Pascal in a promo for ‘The Last of Us’ | HBO

A second game was released in 2020. The second installment, The Last of Us Part II, finds Ellie traversing the dangerous landscape to avenge an important death. Along for the ride are Ellie’s girlfriend and Joel’s brother, Tommy. 

While the series of the same name plans to utilize the video game as source material, there will be some major changes. Neil Druckmann told The Hollywood Reporter that fans would likely be challenged to accept changes to the games’ storylines. Druckmann is the director and co-writer of The Last of Us and Part II

Is Part III of the game planned by Sony? 

The franchise was particularly successful for Sony. The original game was a breakout hit; the sequel game did not disappoint. According to StatistaThe Last of Us 2 sold 2.8 million units in its first month. Since its June 2020 release, fans have been clamoring for information about a third installment. There seems to be more story to tell, but is a third game in the works? 

Nico Parker and Pedro Pascal appear in an episode of 'The Last of Us'
Nico Parker and Pascal Pascal | Shane Harvey/HBO

‘The Last of Us’ Fans Have a Complaint About the Series Before It Even Premieres

In August 2021, Druckmann appeared on Scripts Apart, a podcast dedicated to giving TV and movie enthusiasts a glimpse into the writing process. During the chat, Druckmann noted that he had an idea for a third installment but stopped short of saying the project was a go. At this time, a third video game is not in development. That might change quickly if the TV premiere is as successful as critics expect.