Neil Druckmann wanted to do The Last of Us animated short and prequel

Neil Druckmann pitched multiple projects with Ashley Johnson before she eventually made her live-action debut in HBO's The Last of Us.

Season 1 of The Last of Us has officially ended. As we wait for Season 2, we're finding out more about the backstory behind the project. Specifically, everything that Naughty Dog originally planned for the first game.

The powerful Anna scene in the season finale of The Last of Us has a very interesting backstory.

In the ninth episode of The Last of Us podcast, Naughty Dog co-president and one-half of the series' showrunner, Neil Druckmann, gave us some insight into how the story of Ellie's mother came to be. The finale finally puts Ellie's voice actress, Ashley Johnson, in the spotlight as the mother of Ellie.

Without spoiling the ending too much, we can say the final episode of HBO's The Last of Us revealed how Ellie was immune and who gave birth to her.

But, while this is the first time we saw and found out this much about the similarly foul-mouthed Anna outside of written and audio pieces in the original source material, it appears Druckmann had a different plan.

It looks like it will be a long wait between Season 1 and Season 2 of HBO's The Last of Us.

According to Druckmann, Naughty Dog had "opportunities" to do "other pieces of art or storytelling to help promote the game" as the studio neared the finish line. At one point, Druckmann says that "there was an opportunity to do an animated short" telling the story of how "she gave birth to Ellie and was bitten at the same time." Druckmann describes the script she wrote as a "little character drama", saying that 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."

Eventually, this never materialized and Druckmann even went as far as to look for "another game company" to turn Anna's story into a video game, which also fell apart. Finally, Druckmann says he approached Johnson about starring in a live-action short and this didn't happen either because they "both got busy."

Let's just say, all's well that ends well.

HBO's The Last of Us was going to divide fans, especially at the end. Given how faithful and creatively deviant the show has been to the source material, the finale was always going to generate a lot of noise.

But, regardless of where your stand is about the quality of the ending, Johnson's part in the finale deserves praise. Still, you can't help but wonder, if Druckmann got what he wanted, how would this have affected the game? Would we have gotten a similarly successful DLC like Left Behind?

At this point, we'll never know. However, given that there was apparently a lot about The Last of Us that even the most ardent fans didn't know until the show ran its course, we're excited about the follow-up season.

We're glad that HBO's The Last of Us largely stuck to the source material while also expanding on what fans already know.

HBO hasn't confirmed when The Last of Us Season 2 is coming out but we're hoping we'll find out at this year's The Last of Us day. By then, we're hoping to have gotten more info about The Last of Us Multiplayer, which may come out on the PS4, and the long-rumored The Last of Us Part III for the PS6.

And, while we're at it, Sony might as well confirm that The Last of Us Part II is launching on the PC after The Last of Us Part 1.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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