HBO shared its first production still of The Last of Us TV show, starring Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie, on Sunday. The image shows the duo from the back, each wearing their signature worn backpacks, and staring at a destroyed commercial airplane. Joel is wearing a blue denim shirt and holding a Carhartt in his hands, while Ellie is wearing a dark pink hoodie — similar to the shirt she wears in the first game.
The stills release celebrates two dates. First, HBO is acknowledging that the series is officially in production ahead of its 2022 release window. Sept. 26 is also the day of the first outbreak in The Last of Us, which saw the loss of Joel’s young daughter and plunged the world into the apocalypse that players have already spent two games navigating.
In its screenshot reveal tweet, HBO specifically calls out Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. Mazin is best known for his work on Chernobyl as a writer-producer, and is serving the same role on The Last of Us. Druckmann is the co-president of Naughty Dog, co-directed and wrote the original The Last of Us game, and is a co-writer/executive producer on the HBO series.
Druckmann, Mazin, Pascal, and Ramsey all shared the image on Sunday night:
“I got you, baby girl.” The @HBO adaptation of #TheLastofUs is in production @PlayStation @Naughty_Dog #TLOUDay #HappyBirthdayJoel pic.twitter.com/hhRz8Yq345— Pedro Pascal he/him (@PedroPascal1) September 27, 2021
Day and night, all we do is survive.— Bella Ramsey (@BellaRamsey) September 27, 2021
The @HBO adaptation of #TheLastofUs is in production. @PlayStation @Naughty_Dog #TLOUDay pic.twitter.com/xCKhikKdqp
When I first saw them on set in full costume, I was like: "Hooooooly shit! It's Joel & Ellie! !"— Dr. Uckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) September 27, 2021
The @HBO adaptation of @Naughty_Dog's The Last of Us is full steam ahead!
Can't wait to show you more (from all of our projects!) Happy #TLoUDay!!! pic.twitter.com/trq9N340FW
Can't let #TheLastofUsDay end without giving you a tiny little peek. @PedroPascal1 and @BellaRamsey are Joel and Ellie, and our journey has been amazing so far.— Craig Mazin (@clmazin) September 27, 2021
To the edge of the universe and back... ️ #TLOUDay #TheLastofUs @Naughty_Dog @HBO @PlayStation @Neil_Druckmann pic.twitter.com/X69ZyfrWbR
From the back, the characters look nearly identical to their digital counterparts — something Druckmann specifically calls out in his tweet. Even small details like the duct tape on Joel’s bag or Ellie’s Firefly pin are very close to their in-game representations.
The Last of Us TV series is currently slated for 10 episodes, and will arrive sometime next year.
Correction: A previous version of this story said The Last of Us would run for six episodes. According to a podcast with Mazin, The Last of Us will actually run for 10 episodes. We’ve updated the story to correct the error.