The Last Of Us Prosthetics Designer Teases HBO Show’s Clickers
A prosthetics designer for HBO’s The Last of Us talks about recreating the most iconic monsters from the video game. The upcoming series is an adaptation of the popular and critically acclaimed Naughty Dog/Sony video game of the same name released in 2013, which spawned a sequel in 2020. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic future in which society has been crippled by a fungal infection, the video games center on the unlikely duo of Joel and Ellie as they embark on a dangerous cross-country journey. In the HBO series, Joel will be portrayed by Pedro Pascal and Ellie by Bella Ramsey, with the rest of the cast including Nick Offerman, Gabriel Luna, Storm Reid, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, and several others.
The first trailer for the adaptation confirmed that the series will be impressively faithful to the games, with the characters, locations, and creatures bearing a striking resemblance to their video game counterparts. In particular, the trailer showed off the series’ Clickers, one of the most frightening monsters in the games. The Clickers are humans who have been overtaken by the Cordyceps brain infection for a long period of time, resulting in a deterioration of their higher brain function, humanity, and sight. Clickers experience fungal growth on the head and face and develop echolocation to help them navigate, which causes their eponymous clicking sound. The brief glimpse of the HBO series’ Clickers revealed an extremely tangible, practical look, making them even more terrifying.
In a conversation with Variety, prosthetics designer Barrie Gower, who previously worked on Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Chernobyl, The Witcher, House of the Dragon, and more, discussed creating the Clickers in the live-action series. Gower expressed his enthusiasm for working on the series and being able to bring the Clickers to a live-action series, as well as confirming the show’s faithfulness to the source material. See what he had to say below:
“It was a bit of a dream come true. For a monster maker, it’s exactly the type of job that I got into the business to do. We were really lucky. The scripts are fantastic. There are some really terrifying moments. There’s a lot for the fans in there. I think it’s fair to say they’re going to be very happy. From what I’ve seen of the show and what we shot, it’s very true and authentic to the game. I’m hoping the fans will be over the moon with it and it will spawn a load of new fans who will be introduced to it through the show rather than the video game.”
Gower’s excitement over creating the monsters and being part of the show reveals how much of a passion project the series is for everyone involved. As the series has become the most expensive television series ever shot in Canada, it’s clear that HBO is fully behind the project as well. After being announced in November 2020, the series will finally make its way to the screen next year, and every glimpse that has been released teases an incredibly game-accurate adaptation. So far, sneak peeks of footage and behind-the-scenes photos have teased several important scenes appearing to have been pulled directly from the game, including the hospital scene and Joel running with his daughter. The original voice actors for Joel and Ellie, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, have also been present on set and are reportedly appearing in the series in undisclosed roles.
The series’ commitment to recreating the games is likely due in part to Neil Druckmann, the game’s writer and director, being on board as co-creator along with Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin. Original game composer Gustavo Santaolalla is also composing the score for the HBO show. While many video game adaptations fail to live up to the hype, it appears that HBO is working hard to create a satisfying series that only elevates the material. So far, the immersive video game seems to be getting the adaptation it deserves in the HBO series, which is sure to delight the game’s passionate fan base when The Last of Us finally debuts.