The Last Of Us Actor Says Sam Raimi’s Version Was "Never Gonna Be A Great Movie"

HBO's The Last of Us has become one of the hottest shows in the network's history as it gains greater viewership with nearly every new episode, something of a rarity for a debut series. While the latest episode dropped early, to precede the 2023 Superbowl, there exists an alternate universe where the live-action adaptation wouldn't have been a serialised television show, but a movie.

And apparently, this movie version just wouldn't have been very good. That's according to actor Jeffrey Pierce, who played Joel's younger brother Tommy Miller in the video game and Kansas City enforcer Perry on the HBO show. Pierce recently spoke with EW about the planned movie reworking of the game, a treatment that was ultimately scrapped.

Pierce remembers that he attended a highly secretive table read, assembled by Sony studio Screen Gems which was developing the movie adaptation with director and producer Sam Raimi. Pierce was reading the same part for the movie as he plays in the game, the role of Joel's brother Tommy. But the actor believes this treatment wouldn't have been able to do justice to the story that Neil Druckmann had created.

"As good as it was, it was never gonna be a great movie", Pierce told EW. "In a two-hour runtime, how are you gonna tell 14, 17 hours of story?" The actor also revealed that there had been talks for an "animation motion-capture movie series" but this too didn't sound like the best direction to go, according to Pierce. But eventually things took a better turn.

"The second that I heard that Neil and Craig [Mazin] had lunch together — I had just watched Chernobyl in a hotel room in Vancouver or something and was floored by this historical event — I knew that the two of them were gonna make something just about perfect," the actor said.

Pierce appears in episode four of HBO's The Last of Us, appearing as Perry, the main enforcer and right-hand man of Kathleen, the leader of a rebel force that took over from the oppressive military operation in Kansas City. As for how Pierce approached playing Perry, the actor revealed that he thinks of his character as "a Kurosawa ronin who came to Kansas City and re-found his purpose and dedicated his life and love to Kathleen and to her brother". Pierce also had the chance to meet Gabriel Luna, the actor who plays Tommy in the show, and had only good things to say: "His approach [to Tommy] was everything that I would've hoped".

As for the scrapped movie adaptation, it was just never meant to be. It's also known that studio executives had wanted the movie version to be more along the lines of World War Z, while Druckmann had been thinking more about No Country For Old Men as a tonal touchstone. But we can all be glad the adaptation got the more in-depth and lengthier TV adaptation in the end.

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