Typically, the last place you want to be is in a world overrun by infected half-humans. But The Last of Us makes it all look so inviting. As bleak as HBO‘s new thriller is, it’s also visually stunning, packed with weather-beaten buildings and hauntingly serene city skylines. It’s a series that goes a long way in capturing the awe of the video game of the same name.
To do so, The Last of Us team had to get creative. Consider this your guide to some of the most iconic locations in the HBO thriller as well as the locations that are to come.
Where Was The Last of Us Filmed?
The short answer to this big answer is Canada. Though this game adaptation revolves around a cross-country trek across America, most of it was filmed up north. In fact, it’s been called the largest-ever production filmed in Canada.
The production was mostly filmed around Calgary, Edmonton, Canmore, Fort Macleod, and Waterton. And we already know exactly where some of the biggest scenes in this series took place. After an exposition-heavy TV interview, The Last of Us opens in earnest in 2003 — two decades before the global infection. As Joel (Pedro Pascal) tries to carry his daughter Sarah (Nico Parker) to safety, they pass by some recognizable parts of Alberta. Sullivan Road in High River was used to portray Joel and Sarah’s neighborhood, and during one point, they run through Evelyn’s Memory Lane Diner.
Next up is not-Boston, which is where we reunite with Joel two decades after the tragic loss of his daughter. Edmonton was used for these scenes, and the Alberta Legislature Building even served as a stand-in for Boston’s capitol. As for all of those post-pandemic shots of overgrown highways, those were filmed around Calgary.
We also know the filming locations of key plot points to come. Jackson, Wyoming, which is where Joel’s brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) lives with the Fireflies, was actually filmed in the quaint town of Canmore. Fort Macleod was the basis of many of the show’s small-town scenes — a staple of this universe. Waterton Lakes National Park was used in place of Colorado, the location of many of Joel and Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) hiking scenes.
Want to know where the most emotionally devastating scenes are going to take place? Certain scenes were shot in Northland Village Mall, and some college scenes were shot in Mount Royal University and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. If you’ve played The Last of Us and The Last of Us: Left Behind, you know what’s going to happen there.
Altogether, it’s been estimated that the production will generate upwards of $200 million in revenue for Alberta. “This is a true Alberta success story, a billion-dollar industry springing up around us right in front of our eyes,” Premier Jason Kenney told CTV News.
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