HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ may be more expensive than ‘Game of Thrones’

HBO’s upcoming post-apocalyptic series, The Last of Us, allegedly has a bigger budget than Game of Thrones.

HBO is no stranger to splashing out for big-budget productions. Recently, it was revealed that their new series, The Last of Us (based on the video game of the same name), might cost more than Game of Thrones.

According to President Damian Petti of IATSE 212 (the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees based in Canada), the production “well exceeds” an eye-watering “eight figure[s] per episode”.

game of thrones
Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO

With ten episodes already confirmed, it’s no wonder many are speculating that the show will cost HBO hundreds of millions of dollars.

“The Last of Us which commences photography this week is indeed a monster … It has five art directors and employs an army of hundreds of technicians. It has had six months of prep and shoots (in Alberta) for 12 months,” Petti said when speaking with Calgary’s CTV News.

At the same time, Petti says that the influx of money into the area directly benefits small businesses.

“[With so much money] … there is a sudden multiplier effect on our economy in terms of its impact. There are hundreds of related businesses benefitting from the plethora of work.”  

While no exact number has been confirmed, Forbes has speculated that one episode would cost a minimum of “$10 million [USD] … or $100 million [USD] for the ten episode season”.

With this in mind, they proposed that one episode could cost anywhere from USD 12 million to USD 15 million.

Hypothetically, if the numbers were accurate, Forbes believes that the show’s first season could cost an enormous USD 150 million.

This is more than the final season of Game of Thrones, costing the network USD 90 million for its six episodes.

The Last of Us is a multi-award-winning video game (developed by Naughty Dog) that follows a man named Joel who journeys across the United States with a young girl named Ellie.

Set in 2033, after a deadly disease decimates humanity, The Last of Us received widespread critical and fan acclaim, with IGN labelling it as a “masterpiece”.

A sequel, The Last of Us Part II, was also released last year.

Actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey will star as Joel and Ellie respectively. Currently, there is no confirmed air date for the series.