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HBO

HBO’s The Last of Us Ditches Alberta for BC

The show needs marine-based locations, which Vancouver has, and Calgary doesn't

We had a good run, but our relationship with the hit series The Last of Us has run its course. Last month, HBO announced that filming for the show would be moving from Alberta to Vancouver for the second season.

Over the last few years, they have filmed in Calgary, Mount Royal University and SAIT, Okotoks, High River, and Fort Macleod. We even let them blow up the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton.

So what does our next-door neighbour have that we don’t?

Global News contacted the City of Calgary and spoke with a union member who worked on the show.

According to the member, the second season will rely heavily on marine-based locals, which land-locked Alberta lacks. You win this time, BC!

“We have spoken to a producer from The Last of Us, and they have confirmed that Season 2 will be based out of Vancouver…We were sort of expecting this news,” Damian Petti, president of IATSE 212, told the Vancouver Sun.

If season 2 is accurate to the video games, it will be set in Seattle. Filming in Seattle isn’t in the cards, but Vancouver is the next best thing. Why? Because of those sweet Canadian tax breaks.

The Last of Us had such a positive economic impact in Alberta that it was included in Budget 2023. Specifically, the show’s filming raked in an increase of $100 million over the next three years for the province’s Film and Television Tax Credit (FTTC).

a landscape illustration of post apocalyptic seattle with ellie riding a horse staring at the horizon with a gun on her back
Artwork illustrating a post-apocalyptic Seattle | Naughty Dog | Daily Hive

This will “attract more productions to the province that will create jobs, diversify the economy and showcase Alberta as a world-class travel destination,” Alberta commented in Budget 2023.

Vancouver is now set to reap the benefits! We don’t know much about what’s in store for season two, but we know HBO plans to stay true to the video games.

Those of you who have played the video game know what to expect. If you haven’t, you may want to invest in a punching bag to vent your inevitable frustration.

In an interview with Esquire, Pedro Pascale, who plays Joel in The Last of Us, commented, “It wouldn’t make sense to follow the first game so faithfully only to stray severely from the path.”

According to Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim, filming The Last of Us will bring more swagger, hundreds of jobs, and significant economic benefits to the city.

“With an exceptional crew base and an unparalleled range of stunning locations, we are poised to build on the precedent set by Alberta’s exceptional work on season one,” Prem Gill, CEO of Creative BC, told CBC News.

There is some good news, though! According to a representative from the Alberta government, part of season two will be shot in our beautiful province.

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