The famous ending of The Last Of Us was almost changed for the show
Everyone is talking about the end of Our Last again. With the final episode just airing this past weekend, and so many people who haven’t experienced Joel and Ellie’s journey seeing it for the first time, the brutal acts unfold and the moral dilemmas unfold The virtue in their hearts caused debate and natural conversation. But according to a recent interview with show creators Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin, that much-discussed ending was almost tweaked for TV adaptation in a subtle yet enjoyable way.
As you might have guessed, we will discuss the ending of Our Last This. So if you somehow still managed to avoid spoilers almost 10 years after the game and essentially a week after the show’s finale, you’ve been warned.
Our Last ends in violence and dishonesty. Not wanting to allow the Fireflies to kill Ellie in order to find a cure, Joel goes on a rampage, killing everyone in his path to prevent Ellie’s death. After rescuing her, he lies about everything he just did, drawing up a completely untrue story about what happened in the hospital. After the violence, Joel and Ellie stood alone facing each other. Forced to be honest about what happened, Joel swears his made-up story is true, Ellie delivers a vague, meaningful “okay”, then the game and show break abruptly ended. But according to series co-creator Craig Mazin, the episode’s director considered a slightly different framing for those final moments.
How Our Last‘ the last scene almost changed
This change will not involve, at least as far as we know, any change to the actual events of the ending. Instead, according to Mazin, the camera will hang for a bit after Joel’s last lie. Talking to GQMazin said of the change being considered:
Ali Abbasi, our director, joked with […] This is a slightly longer and sadder version where Ellie says, ‘okay,’ then she turns and walks away. And Joel takes care of her. We see the two of them walking, not really together but apart, towards Jackson. It lasts and then disappears. There is something beautiful about it.
That’s a pretty neat idea. While the abrupt end of the game and the show after the lie adds to the real emotional impact of everything that happens, what Mazin says allows for “that moment [to be] permanently suspended,” there’s something provocative about the setting switch that could last a little longer, hinting at the growing distrust and distance between Ellie and Joel following the lie. Some might say it also feeds into subsequent events more naturally.
Mazin shared that there was some internal controversy about this potential change towards the end, but ultimately, the weight of how the game originally ended was too significant to mess with.
Everyone was like ‘what do we do?’ And there was a heated discussion about whether people playing the game would be more upset because they didn’t get it the way it was supposed to, or would they be more upset because they just got what they got first. ? And then how will others feel? Finally, there’s something very specific about that close-up of Ellie’s ending. Don’t know what will happen next. Don’t know what she does. Does she leave him, does she go with him, how does she feel? That moment is permanently suspended.
Successful ending different from 2013
In the same interview, Neil Druckmann said that knowing that a second season is coming can also affect how people feel about the ending. A sequel game isn’t something many thought would be guaranteed to return when the sequel first appeared on the PlayStation 3 in 2013.
When we made the game, and that successful ending, no one knew if we were going to make another game or not. So I think people will easily accept it not as a spoiler, but as a proper ending. Here, they can say ‘Oh, you left us a spoiler’ when they know season two is coming. So it will be interesting to see if that means people react differently.
There’s no denying that choosing to hit the attribution right after the lie leaves the viewer or player in an unresolved nominal space. I think it’s safe to say that sticking to that ending was the right choice for the movie, but I can’t deny that I wanted to know how this adjusted ending felt while watching.