There Was Almost A Last Of Us Spin-Off Game From A Different Studio About Ellie's Mom

Neil Druckmann revealed that material was also written that would address Ellie's dad.


HBO's The Last of Us writer Neil Druckmann has revealed that after the release of the first The Last of Us game, there was talk of making a spin-off featuring Ellie's mom, Anna.

In a recent conference call with press, Druckmann and showrunner Craig Mazin discussed Episode 9, and the return of original The Last of Us actor Ashley Johnson, who played Ellie in the games. In the series finale, Johnson plays the role of Ellie's mom Anna in flashbacks, who is pregnant with Ellie at the time.

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Druckmann revealed that after Naughty Dog wrapped the first game, there was an idea for an animated short featuring Anna, and he even wrote a "short" script about how she gave birth and was bitten at the same time, but wasn't certain if Ellie became infected too. "It just became a little character drama that felt like it spoke to the same themes of parental love for their child and how much you're willing to do even when you're on death's door," Druckmann said.

The writer added that after that idea fell through, there were conversations with a different studio to develop his short story as a new The Last of Us game (via Entertainment Weekly). Material was written to address who Ellie's dad was and the story would've ended with the birth of Ellie. But when asked to speak on the identity of Ellie's dad, who has remained a mystery in both games, Druckmann said, "I'm reluctant to say anything about it because as I now found out several times, stories that I think are failures and will never see the light of day sometimes see the light of day."

The spin-off game didn't end up happening of course, and Druckmann explained that he eventually came to Johnson about the idea of doing a live-action story about Anna, saying, "I was talking with Ashley Johnson about her starring in it, and we both got busy, so that fell apart." However, when it came to creating the HBO series Druckmann said that he forgot about his idea until he met with Mazin and it was finally adapted for Episode 9, instead.

Alongside Ashley Johnson's reprisal, Episode 9 of HBO's The Last of Us features yet another cameo from an original actor from the video game.

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