HBO’s The Last of Us Moves Its Outbreak Year from 2013 to 2003


Bayani Miguel Acebedo

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Bayani is a freelance pop-culture newswriter that's been covering the news cycle since 2017. He writes mostly about TV and movies, but he also covers the biggest game news and makes sure to keep you up-to-date on the hottest titles. Though he does specialize on topics like Star Wars and Comic Book films, he also keeps up to date on none superhero properties like the latest movies and most buzzed about tv shows. He also has a podcast called Feed the Geeks which you can check out on Youtube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. He also draws original webcomics from time to time.


In the original Last of Us game, the zombie outbreak takes place in the year 2013, with the main story happening 20 years later in 2033. What’s interesting is, the upcoming adaptation on HBO will be moving the timeline back by a decade.

HBO’s The Last of Us Moves Its Outbreak Year from 2013 to 2003

As per @NaughtyDogInfo on Twitter, HBO’s The Last of Us series will be moving the outbreak day to 2003. We don’t have any official reason why this would be done, but some speculate that it could be due to production concerns. Buying out old cars from 2003 are cheaper than buying cars that were available around 2013.

The timeline has also been confirmed by photos from the set:

Seeing that the post-apocalyptic setting is pretty much its own character in The Last of Us, you would want the HBO series to try and live up to that when it comes to production value. Either way, the timeline of the story isn’t that important, but it would be interesting to see what a world would look like when it devolves past 2003. Would people still be recovering from 9/11? Was Pearl Jam able to write Joel’s favorite song, Future Days?

We’ve yet to know how different the series will be from the original game. With the game already playing out like a series, it would be redundant to just try and copy everything for TV. It would be great if we got to see some in-between moments from the games; like moments where Joel and Ellie grow as characters that we don’t get to experience in the game.

No release date has been set for HBO’s The Last of Us series.

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