Fans of The Last of Us are already quite familiar with the critically acclaimed DLC, Left Behind, which focused exclusively on Ellie and her past, but developer Naughty Dog almost went in a different direction for the expanded content. According to Neil Druckmann, the team considered featuring Ellie’s mother in the DLC first.
In a recent interview with Variety, Druckmann talked about some of the initial plans for DLC in The Last of Us. The idea of focusing on Ellie’s mother came from a short story that was later seriously considered to be expanded upon in future content, but plans fell apart. “I had written a short story after we had shipped the game already,” said Druckmann. “It was supposed to be an animated short, but it fell apart and didn’t come to be. There was a moment where we almost made it as DLC, but it fell apart.”
Unfortunately, we never actually got to see Ellie’s mother in the games but that might change in the HBO series. Druckmann stated that he brought up the idea again with showrunner Craig Mazin, who agreed to feature her in one of the episodes. Interestingly, Ellie’s mother in the show will be portrayed by Ashley Johnson who voiced Ellie in the games.
“I brought it up to Craig and he was immediately excited by it, or as he would say ‘activated.’ We brought it to life in the most beautiful, poetic way,” said Druckmann.
It’s possible that Joel voice actor Troy Baker will also make an appearance at some point in the show, though his role is still being kept a bit of a secret. Some speculate that he may appear as a cannibal under the leadership of David, possibly even David’s right-hand man James.
The Last of Us series is currently airing on HBO Max.