In an interview with BBC Radio 1, Craig Mazin was asked about which easter egg he was most proud of out of the many that are strewn throughout the show. Unfortunately, Mazin was quick to say that he’d rather not give any away as that would defeat the point of easter eggs. However, the co-creator of the series did want to discuss the driving philosophy behind whatever easter eggs they did decide on using. For Mazin, it was never about the exclusivity for people who played the game:
“Everything needed to have resonance for people that don’t understand that they’re nods to the game. So we picked, and we chose carefully, but always looking for things, always looking for opportunities to reward people … Because it’s love. That’s the thing. I love the game, and they love the game. We want to take care of them even as we’re bringing this to a whole new audience of people that don’t know the game.”
It’s hard for an easter egg in any sort of medium able to convey the love for what came before while also striking an emotional chord with those unfamiliar with the source material. On almost every level, HBO’s “The Last of Us” seems to be a project that will break the “video game curse,” thanks to its passion for the world and story of the game. The “careful” approach Mazin and other creatives took with their tributes to the PS3 title may very well set a new standard for future video game adaptations that will undoubtedly strive for the critical acclaim this series has already received.
“The Last of Us” premieres Sunday, January 15, 2023 on HBO.