Why ‘Zombie’ was a Banned Word on The Last Of Us Set. The use of the term “Zombie” was strictly forbidden on the set of the popular HBO series The Last Of Us, as revealed by cinematographer Eben Bolter.
The Last of Us, a popular video game released in 2013, revolutionized the gaming industry with its mature storytelling and a captivating plot. It depicted a world ravaged by a global pandemic that wiped out most of the population, leaving only survivors struggling to stay alive.
Joel and Ellie, the main characters, embark on a mission to save humanity. Recently, the game has been adapted into a television series by HBO, with Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann on board. The producers were determined to distance themselves from an overly-inflated concept at all costs.
Why ‘Zombie’ was a Banned Word on The Last Of Us Set
As the series gains momentum, it becomes evident that it has been crafted with great attention to detail and unwavering love for the video game. However, the production team forbids the use of the term “zombies” on set. Eben Bolter, the cinematographer responsible for four episodes, revealed that it was strictly prohibited.
We weren’t allowed to say the Z word on set. It was like a banned word. They were the Infected. We weren’t a zombie show. Of course, there’s tension building and jump scares, but the show’s really about our characters; The Infected are an obstacle they have to deal with.
About The Last of Us
The Last of Us defies expectations in many ways. It’s not a typical zombie film with predictable plotlines, nor is it a Hollywood production with perfect close-ups and ideal lighting. Instead, it offers a raw and authentic world, with a cinematic, naturalistic, and organic style.
The show premiered on both HBO and Sky Atlantic on January 15, 2023, with an impressive team of production companies, including Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Naughty Dog, The Mighty Mint, and Word Games. Executive producers include Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, Evan Wells, Rose Lam, Carolyn Strauss, Neil Druckmann, and Craig Mazin.