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HBO Spent A Dragon-Sized Amount Of Money To Bring The Last Of Us To Life

The year 2023 is looking to be a good year for fans of video game adaptations, as not only is it bringing "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," but also the hotly anticipated adaptation of Sony and Naughty Dog's "The Last of Us," made by HBO.

As discussed at length in an article from The New Yorker, the publication interviewed series creators and screenwriters Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin, the former of whom also created the iconic video game series.

The article explores many topics with Druckmann and Mazin, including their desire to break the curse of bad video game adaptations that seem to have plagued the industry, the failure and ultimate cancellation of a movie adaptation to "The Last of Us," and how the team at HBO fought to make the show more grounded and less bombastic.

However, there's one detail that stands out from the piece, in which they hint at the staggering amount of money spent on bringing the world of "The Last of Us" to life.

HBO spent more money on The Last of Us than each of Game of Thrones' first 5 seasons

One of the many elements of the show that Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin discussed was the scale of the series' sets. Due to years of no upkeep, all the man-made structures of "The Last of Us" have fallen into disrepair and have been reclaimed by nature, a look that the series' creators say was inspired by the book "The World Without Us," which speculates on how the world's structures would crumble without humans to keep them standing.

It takes a lot of money to make things look like no money has been invested in maintaining these structures, however. The total amount of money is breathtaking. As reported by The New Yorker, the nine-episode season of "The Last of Us" cost HBO more money than each of the first five seasons of the massively popular (and expensive) series "Game of Thrones."

To put that into perspective, the most expensive of Game of Thrones' first five seasons was the second at around $69 million, meaning that "The Last of Us" is at least more expensive than that. However, with the final season of "Game of Thrones" costing $90 million, we can safely assume the budget for "The Last of Us" didn't quite reach that stratospheric amount.

We'll see whether or not that money was worth it when "The Last of Us" premieres on HBO on January 15.