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'The Last of Us': this is how they created the terrifying Clickers

The Last of Us, clickers

The television adaptation of The Last of Us It only has two chapters and it already aims to be one of the most outstanding productions of 2023. The series made an impact due to its closeness to the game, its interest in preserving its familiarity with it; it also does so by allowing itself some useful creative license and powerful staging. Regarding the latter, the recreation of the Clickers.

This phase of the infected could be seen with precision during the second episode of The Last of Us, premiered on January 22 through HBO Max. It is about a species that has lost its head —at least in relation to what it was before—, due to the fact that it was consumed by the fungus that infected the Earth within the story. The clikers are not the only adversaries with which Joel Miller –played by Peter Pascal– and Ellie Williams –played by Bella Ramsey– they will have to face.

After the second episode of The Last of Us, the general reaction on the recreation of the Clickers is satisfactory. The makeup work looks impeccable and the use of this type of humanoid is consistent with how it happens in the video game. Regarding its adaptation to the television format, there are clues about how this process can be.

The Lasto of Us: how the Clickers were made for the HBO series

In the game, Clickers are the third phase of the infected, and also the most common. They can be recognized because, instead of a brain, their head is open. The fungus consumed so much of their being that it exited through their skull, depriving them of their sight but leading to a noticeable improvement in their hearing. That is why they are characterized by listening to what seems impossible and pursuing their victims to almost any point, in a stealthy manner. Their name comes from the sound they make when stalking their prey: “click”, while their limbs twist.

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Recreate this variant of the infected in The Last of Us it involved a couple of complications. It was a challenge in relation to the video game and also with so many stories about zombies that exist today. How to maintain fidelity with the original proposal and at the same time come up with an adaptation that does not seem common?

About, Neil Druckmanone of the main minds behind the HBO project and the video game, explained the following, in el blog de Playstation:

“We were always careful how we differentiate ourselves from zombies, because there have been so many zombie movies, so many zombie games, and we could easily fall into the trap of just being one of the zombies without having a new vision.”

Neil Druckman

So how to achieve it? Druckmann described a key process:

“Hyoung Nam, one of our concept artists, eventually did this mix: took fungal growths, photographs of them, and a person slumped against a wall (in artist’s concept) and stitched them together. This one was covered only with mushrooms. You couldn’t even see her face.”

Neil Druckman

That was the origin of the Clickers, a species of infected recognized for not having a usual head.

The sensation of terror in the series

The Last of Us

Another of the highlights in The Last of Us, in the version made by HBO, is how the atmosphere and the movements of the Clickers were composed to generate the sensation of panic in the viewer. Regarding the above, Bryant Wilsonresponsible for film animation, explained the following:

“My own way of thinking whenever I was animating a clicker is that these are living human beings that have something pulling their strings. It’s almost like they’re puppets run by this fungus inside their brain.. That’s why you get these movements, like someone is pulling them in that direction.”

Bryant Wilson

About the presentation during the second chapter of The Last of UsWilson also made a comment to the cited source:

“The first introduction to a clicker, other than dummy, is one that is right in the viewer’s face. We did it on purpose. It’s a scare that works because, at this point, we’ve only mentioned them. You’ve seen the regular racers, and this is the first time a Clicker has appeared.”

Bryant Wilson

The Last of Us It is the premiere of the year and you can only see it on HBO Max

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The Last of Us is airing weekly on HBO Max. The episodes are released every Sunday (Monday in Spain). There will be a total of nine chapters.

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