Official The Last of Us HBO trailer hits, makes maximum effort use of its a-ha cover song cover image

Official The Last of Us HBO trailer hits, makes maximum effort use of its a-ha cover song

The official The Last of Us television adaptation trailer premiered, bringing with it some laughs, some horror, and a reminder of all that pain from the games.

Streaming giant HBO finally placed all of its cards on the table with the long awaited reveal of the official The Last of Us television trailer. Set for a January 2023 release, the question at-large has been how much of an adaptation of the critically acclaimed Naughty Dog video game franchise would remain in a television release. While the new trailer premiere doesn't answer every question, it does showcase a mix of something new with a clear respect of its source material.

There's even time for a little bit of levity, because after all: What's a zombie apocalypse if a small girl can't make a joke about being infected?

Here's the trailer in all its glory.

The show based on the game

Starring Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) and Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones), the show is a retelling of the much-lauded 2013 action-horror game by Naughty Dog and writer Neil Druckmann. The story follows Joel, a down on his luck survivor of a worldwide apocalypse attempting to bring cargo out west in the form of Ellie, a girl that may hold the key to humanity's survival and Joel's own redemption.

Fans of the game franchise will have spotted numerous references in this two minute trailer, some obvious and others a bit obscure. Recurring characters such as Riley from the Last of Us DLC Left Behind pop up in the footage, as well as actress Ashley Johnson of Critical Role fame and original voice of Ellie in the games.

A less subtle reference--at least for those who are fans of the game franchise--is the use of a maudlin cover of 1980s synthwave band a-ha and their 1985 hit Take On Me. An older Ellie plays this song in The Last of Us Part II, as part of a somewhat hidden scene which takes place in a Seattle music shop.

And it is also the same song covered in Deadpool 2. Boy, talk about the royalties.

Coming soon to HBO streaming

The official The Last of Us trailer also serves as a reminder that the show's January 15, 2023 release date is right around the corner. Will the series be able to balance keeping fans of the games happy while also creating something that is wholly its own? Only time will tell but, if the trailer is any indicator there's a lot to happily anticipate.

Keep an eye on for any and all updates.