HBO television series ‘The Last of Us’ takes over parts of Edmonton | Globalnews.ca

A major HBO television series is taking over some Edmonton streets.

HBO is filming a new series based on a popular video game called The Last of Us, and the multi-million-dollar TV production is filming its first season all over Alberta.

The production is not only transforming some areas of the city to look post-apocalyptic but it’s also bringing in some big opportunities.

“‘The Last of Us” HBO television production set on Rice Howard Way in Edmonton, Alta. on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

Chris Chacon/Global News

Downtown, Rice Howard Way looks like the end of the world, but Edmontonians walking by say the apocalypse never looked so good.

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“I think that’s really cool this is happening in our city right now. The kids are really interested in it. They think that this is exciting,” passerby Amber Wenzel said.

“Pretty cool, I’d say. You don’t always get to see something like it,” passerby Haven Wenzel said.

Read more:

‘The Last of Us’ TV series filming in Alberta to star ‘Game of Thrones’ actors Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey

The critically acclaimed video game is about a smuggler named Joel, who is tasked with escorting a teenage girl, Ellie, out of an oppressive quarantine zone and across post-apocalyptic America.

The show stars Game of Thrones actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey.

“‘The Last of Us” HBO television production set at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton, Alta. on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

Chris Chacon/Global News

To set the scene, structures like the Alberta legislature and downtown Edmonton streets have been transformed.

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“We’ve got thousands of people working on this project, from small communities to large communities, and right now, they are in Edmonton. They’ve got the legislature that they are filming in,” Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer said.

The Last of Us production began in the Calgary area this past July. Part of the video game takes place during the winter in the mountains, and filming is scheduled to continue through to the summer of 2022.

Schweitzer said this is the largest television production in Canadian history.

“HBO’s The Last of Us, their projected budget for Alberta is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, so this is a big, big project.”

“I think it’s great for all Albertans because it’s an economic boost for things like tourism, investment, and many companies thrive,” IATSE 212 vice-president Damian Petti said.

Read more:

Alberta film and television tax credit brings $1B in production since January 2020: Kenney

The minister said film industry investment in Alberta has doubled over last year, and he anticipates more projects will be headed our way.

“‘The Last of Us” HBO television production set on Rice Howard Way in downtown Edmonton, Alta. on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

Global News

It’s welcome news to an industry hit hard by COVID-19: Petti said earlier this year, there were no productions happening at all for about nine months at the beginning of the pandemic.

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“We fixed our television film and tax credit. Now, we attract these larger projects like The Last of Us, and it’s just been a win. They’ve shown up, they’ve delivered and they are creating jobs in Alberta, and it’s amazing to see this investment happen,” Schweitzer said.

“I think we will see more and more. It’s my goal to help to bring that to Edmonton. We are a great place to do business,” Edmonton Screen Industries Office CEO Tom Viinikka said.

“‘The Last of Us” HBO television production set on Rice Howard Way in downtown Edmonton, Alta. on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

Global News

The video game by developer Naughty Dog sold more than 17 million copies and won hundreds of awards in its industry. It also inspired The Last of Us Part II, a sequel released last year.

— With files from Karen Bartko, Global News

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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