‘The Last of Us’: Pedro Pascal & Bella Ramsey Debut as Joel and Ellie in First Trailer (VIDEO)

HBO has finally debuted the first official trailer for The Last of Us, a highly-anticipated television adaptation based on developer Naughty Dog’s flagship video game franchise. The trailer, at last, makes its splash as part of the PlayStation exclusive’s yearly franchise celebration, Outbreak Day (also known as “The Last of Us Day”), and comes with a soft 2023 premiere date.

The official trailer finally introduces fans to Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey). Much like the games, Joel is a middle-aged guy who finds himself in the middle of the apocalypse, forced to become a delivery specialist following the outbreak of a deadly virus. He soon finds himself delivering Ellie, a young girl immune to the virus, to a laboratory where her blood can be used to create an antidote for the infection and bring back civilization.

The series is set to follow Joel and Ellie as they make their way across the United States, avoiding all the Infected monsters and unhinged humans brought on by the collapse of everything. Despite it sounding like a pretty ordinary zombie property setup, the hook of the game’s popularity hinges upon the relationship between Joel and Ellie. The bond between the two, paired with the bleakness of their reality, is showcased throughout the trailer. The trailer uses Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken” to underscore their lonely new world and individual perspectives.

HBO’s The Last of Us co-stars Storm Reid as Riley Abel, a survivor who originally appeared in the first game’s DLC, The Last of Us: Left Behind, Lamar Johnson as Henry, Keivonn Woodard as Sam, Nick Offerman, Anna Torv, Gabriel Luna, Jeffrey Pierce, Murray Bartlett, Merle Dandridge, and Nico Parker. It was announced that Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker, who initially voiced Ellie and Joel in the video games, will join the series, but there’s no word on who they will be.

The first episode is to be directed by Kantemir Balagov, while Neil Druckmann (franchise creator) and Craig Mazin serve as creators of the HBO series and executive producers.

The Last of Us, Series Premiere, 2023, HBO