Last Of Us Creator Had Very Emotional Reaction To Real Clickers
Though they’re terrifying creatures, The Last of Us creator Neil Druckmann admits he almost cried when he first saw the HBO show’s Clickers.
HBO’s The Last of Us co-creator Neil Druckmann recalls his emotional reaction to seeing Clickers in real life. Druckmann was one of the original creators behind the Last of Us video game. Like the show, the game centers on the relationship between survivors Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) as they traverse a post-apocalyptic United States filled with humans who have been transformed into grotesque creatures by a fungal infection. One iconic stage of the infection is the Clicker, a monster blinded by fungal growths sprouting from their head that must use clicking sounds for echolocation to allow them to navigate their surroundings and seek out their next victim.
While on the Pilot TV podcast (via Collider), Druckmann shares his surprisingly emotional reaction to seeing The Last of Us show’s practical Clickers.
The game designer describes the moment when he saw stunt performers in full Clicker prosthetics as they moved and even sounded like the creatures from the original video game. Druckmann calls the moment “strange” but admits that he became emotional and nearly cried. Read his comments below:
So, look, you’re approving concept art, then you’re forgetting about it and moving onto a million other things. And then one day, they’re like, “Oh, Neil, we need you to come look at something.” And it’s the first time they had two stunt actors in full Clicker prosthetics and they are all standing there and they’re waiting with their notepads to take notes of whatever I say. So I come in there, looking at them and they’re moving like Clickers and one of the guys we had, Sam, who was such a fan of the game, he could even make the Clicker sounds.
So they’re sounding and moving like Clickers. And I am seeing it in real life and everybody’s kinda looking at me and I am getting teary-eyed. Like I’m about to cry! It was such a surreal – and that happened to me multiple times in the making of the show, where I would walk on set and I’d just be blown away by what I’m seeing because it’s in real life. It’s not just on a 2D monitor, I’m standing in it or I’m looking right at it or I could touch it. It was a very strange, exciting feeling that is hard to articulate.
How The Last of Us Show Got Clickers Right
Of all the varying stages of the Cordyceps infection within The Last of Us video game, the Clickers stood out as one of the most disturbing. The creature’s grotesque fungal cranial overgrowth results in the host’s palate being split in two. Coupled with the creature’s twitchy movements and eerie vocalizations, the Clicker became a terrifying addition to an already scary game and further enhanced the television series’ visual frights.
Following their proper introduction in The Last of Us episode 2, the HBO series received praise for delivering a near-perfect Clicker recreation from the source material. Prior to The Last of Us‘ hugely successful series premiere, Druckmann and series co-creator Craig Mazin assured viewers that the show would be a faithful adaptation of the game’s story and world. Through the use of prosthetics and practical effects, led by designer Barrie Gower, The Last of Us meticulously brought the creature to life and brought a great deal of attention to the series for its impressive focus on the details.
As The Last of Us continues and Joel and Ellie’s trek to the Fireflies becomes more perilous, the chances for Clickers to reappear increase. Trailers for the series teased an even bigger infected threat blocking their path, one that was hinted at in dialogue in episode 1. However, with Joel and Ellie caught in a violent ambush in The Last of Us episode 4, their next challenge may have a more human origin.
Next: Frank’s Fate In The Last Of Us Show Is So Much Better (& Sadder)