The Last of Us HBO TV show to cost $13m an episode

Move over, Game of Thrones: HBO has a new, mind-blowing, budget-dominating prestige TV show.

In a recent Alberta CTV news story discussing the ongoing filming of popular video game turned TV series, The Last of Us, people have noticed one key detail – the massive budget for the series.

The video game adaptation will apparently cost more than $13 million per episode, with a total budget in the hundreds of millions, IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) Alberta president Damian Petti said.

“This project well exceeds the eight figure per episode mark,” Mr Petti said. “So there is a multiplier effect on our economy in terms of its impact. There are hundreds of related businesses benefiting from the plethora of work.”

This gargantuan budget will place the series high up on the list of most expensive TV shows ever made, which HBO seems to dominate, having shows like Game of Thrones and The Pacific on the list.

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Disney+’s Star Wars series The Mandalorian is also near the top of the list.

But will The Last of Us actually beat Game of Thrones as HBO’s most expensive series ever made?

By its eighth season, the Game of Thrones budget had crescendoed from $13 million per episode to upwards of $20 million. The Pacific also boasted notably pricey episodes, with around $27 million per episode dedicated to the WWII miniseries.

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There are 10 episodes slated for the first season of The Last of Us, meaning that the budget will end up exceeding that of the final season of Game of Thrones. (Even though GoT episodes were more expensive, there were only six in total in the eighth season, meaning it only cost around $122 million.)

The Last of Us, which commences photography this week, is indeed a monster,” Mr Petti said.

“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.”

Actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey — who are set to star as leads Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us — are no strangers to massive, expensive HBO sets. Both appeared on Game of Thrones.

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Still, The Last of Us has one major competitor in becoming the most expensive TV show of all time.

Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming Lord of the Rings is already soaring to new heights, with an expected $634 million price tag for just the first season.

This story originally appeared on Decider and has been reproduced here with permission

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