The Origin of Ellie’s Last of Us Immunity Comes From a Scrapped Animated Short

“The short story of the origin of that little sequence is that when we were wrapping up the game, there were these opportunities to do these other pieces of art or storytelling to help promote the game,” Druckmann said. “So we did this comic book called ‘American Dreams,’ and that’s where we developed Riley, which later turned into the ‘Left Behind’ additional chapter.” Storm Reid played Riley on screen this season in an episode that folded the downloadable content from “The Last Of Us: Left Behind” into the show’s main story.

“And there was an opportunity to do an animated short,” Druckmann continued. “So trying to come up with a story, I wrote this short script about Ellie’s mom and how she gave birth to Ellie and was bitten at the same time and wasn’t sure if she was infected during that birth.” Druckmann says that the scene “became this little character drama that I felt like spoke to the same themes of parental love for their child and how much you’re willing to do, even when you’re on death’s door.” We see that theme again and again, for better and worse, throughout the show’s first season.

“That deal fell apart, and then we were talking to another game company to potentially do [Anna’s story] as a whole other game,” Druckmann shared at the press conference. Eventually, he says, “that deal fell apart to tell that story.” At one point, Druckmann even considered doing a live-action short, and says he spoke with Johnson about the idea of her starring in it. That, too, didn’t happen because they “both got busy.”

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