HBO's THE LAST OF US Series Finds A Director In BEANPOLE Helmer Kantemir Balagov

HBO has enlisted Beanpole director Kantemir Balagov to helm the pilot episode of the upcoming The Last of Us TV series, which has Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann on board as writer/showrunners.

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The Hollywood Reporter has learned that HBO has enlisted Kantemir Balagov, the Russian filmmaker behind the critically-acclaimed dramas Closeness and Beanpole, to direct the pilot episode for the hotly-awaited live-action The Last of Us series. 

2x Primetime Emmy-winner Craig Mazin (ChernobylThe Hangover Part II; The Hangover Part III) and Naughty Dog co-president/creative director Neil Druckmann (The Last of Us; The Last of Us Part II) are writing and executive producing the upcoming series, with the first season presumably adapting the events of the first game.

Johan Renck, who helmed Chernobyl for Mazin, was originally set to direct but had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict. It's unknown at this time whether he'll return for a future installment. 

The Last of Us is set 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed and centers on the relationship between Joel, a smuggler in this new world, and Ellie, a teenager who may be key to a cure for a deadly pandemic. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle the 14-year-old girl out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey as they traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

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