How many episodes will be in The Last of Us HBO series?

Photo: The Last of Us™ Remastered.. Image Courtesy Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC, Naughty Dog, Inc.
Photo: The Last of Us™ Remastered.. Image Courtesy Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC, Naughty Dog, Inc. /

Soon fans of The Last of Us will be able to relive the experience of meeting Joel and Ellie for the first time in the upcoming HBO series. But many fans are curious how many episodes The Last of Us Season 1 will have.

Will the show be shorter or longer than the amount of time it takes you to play the game? Well, for most people, playing The Last of Us took around 15 to 25 hours. It could potentially take a little more or a little less depending on your playstyle.

People who like to explore every nook and cranny and collect all of the collectibles (and not use any guides) will probably spend far more time in the game than those who focused more on the story and little else. For those curious, the upcoming television series is expected to run about 10 hours, which isn’t quite as long as the game’s runtime.

MORE: The Last of Us Season 1 starts production; check out the first set photo

How many episodes are going to be in The Last of Us Season 1?

Thanks to Collider, we know that the series will consist of 10 episodes. Executive producer and co-writer Craig Mazin recently visited the Scriptnotes podcast and discussed what people could expect to see from the series.

Mazin told the podcast co-host John August presented unique challenges. August previously worked with HBO on the acclaimed series Chernobyl, which also received a straight-to-series order. The cast and crew of The Last of Us is currently filming the show’s first episode right now in Alberta, Canada. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are portraying the lead roles of Joel and Ellie, who must trek across a post-apocalyptic country while trying to avoid zombies.

He further stated that there would five different directors spread across the 10-episode first season and that the writing for the first three-four episodes is mostly done. Mazin admitted they have run into “budget challenges” but assures fans that they “have the budget to make an excellent show, and so we shall.”

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Neil Druckmann, who co-wrote the game and its sequel, is working to develop the show with Mazin. And we already know that Russian director Kantemir Balagov is doing the first episode of the show. Jasmila Žbanić and Ali Abbasi are also directing so there are just two other directors we don’t yet know.

Collider also reported on Mazin’s additional comments regarding The Last of Us Season 1’s production schedule:

"On a television show that has multiple episodes, individual episodes will have prep going on while you’re producing other episodes. The time you spend in advance of shooting, in prep, varies from project to project. The rule of thumb for an average feature film, for a $40 million movie, typically you’re looking at 3-4 months of prep. For a show like the one we have been doing, we’ve been prepping for many, many, many months. And we will continue to prep as new episodes come up."

Based on Mazin’s comments, it sounds like the entire team behind the show is dedicated to making this project the best it can be.

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