The Last of Us series is in full production in Fort Macleod, Alberta. The series is based on the acclaimed PlayStation franchise of the same name. Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal are playing the leads, Ellie and Joel. Alberta is abuzz with production as it brings a boost to the local economy. But how much is the series costing?
A local news story on Alberta’s CTV mentioned The Last of Us “well exceeds the eight figure per episode mark.” That puts the show at more than $10 million per episode and $100 million for the first season!
“This project well exceeds the eight figure per episode mark. So there is a multiplier effect on our economy in terms of its impact. There are hundreds of related businesses benefitting from the plethora of work.”– Damian Petti IATSE President via AV Club
How does the Last of Us stack up against similar big-budget shows? The last season of Game of Thrones had a range of $10-$15 million per episode. In the earlier seasons, it was closer to $5 million. As the show brought in more battles and dragons, the price went up. Mandalorian cost Disney $8 million per episode. that’s partly due to them pioneering the Stage Craft technology. Interestingly, Pedro Pascal is in all of these.
Does a heavy price tag mean a great series? No. The Last of Us is a hit because of its story. The screenwriters will need to be careful adapting the story into a series. But the big budget means HBO is taking the project seriously. They see the value in the game and think it will be their next blockbuster. Let’s hope they are right.