‘Beanpole’ Director Kantemir Balagov Joins HBO’s The Last of Us

Beanpole's Kantemir Balagov takes over from Johan Renck for The Last of Us' pilot episode.

Beanpole's Kantemir Balagov takes over from Johan Renck for The Last of Us' pilot episode.

Kantemir Bagalov, the award-winning Beanpole director, has joined Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl writer Craig Mazin to bring the The Last of Us adaptation to life for PlayStation Productions and HBO. Bagalov will “direct the pilot,” according to an exclusive report from the Hollywood Reporter. 

The news comes soon after HBO officially greenlit the series.

Johan Renck (Chernobyl, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead) was originally tapped to direct the series, though dropped out after scheduling conflicts arose. Balagov is no stranger to dramatic, moody pieces, two descriptors that certainly fit The Last of Us.

The first part in Naughty Dog’s acclaimed action drama follows bereaved father Joel Miller and plucky orphan Ellie as they trek across a United States destroyed by the cordyceps fungus and wracked with deadly factionalism.

Plenty of tense fighting punctuates the game version of Ellie and Joel’s journey, and there’s no word yet how the series might translate that into cinematics or what additions the story might see. Given filming was originally delayed until The Last of Us 2 released, it’s safe to say we’ll likely see some changes that help align the original story more closely with its sequel.

[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]

About the author

Josh Broadwell

Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.