Please welcome Andy McNamara. I’m lucky today
to get to moderate a panel on The Last of Us Part II. And so, without further ado,
I will introduce people that, I know it’s a little cliché,
I don’t think need introduction. We have Neil Druckmann,
writer, director. We have Ashley Johnson,
who plays Ellie. And we have Troy Baker,
“Joel,” The Last of Us. Hey. [ANDY LAUGHING] Welcome. Welcome. TROY:
Oh, my living god. Oh, man. Oh, man.
That’s a lot of people. We love you. Whoo! So I think everyone was as
surprised as I was this morning when they showed us
Last of Us II. So I think the first thing
we should do is we should
watch the trailer again. Let’s do it. All right.
Let’s see it. This place
is packed. It’s crazy. I think they’ve got it here
Love the hair, Neil. Thank you.
So do I, right? [CHUCKLES] So how are you guys?
We just watching ourselves? We can pantomime it, but I don’t
know if it’ll be as good. ASHLEY:
Let’s just act it out, Troy. Let’s do it.
What are we doing? Are we talking about
how we were backstage? I’m sorry?
Were we talking about backstage? I believe we were talking about
this backstage. Two words.
First word sounds like: Exactly. Gonna hold my phone
over my head. Did you ask a question?
Are we gonna watch the–? We’re gonna watch
the trailer. Watch the trailer?
This is going great. This is going to be firing over.
Here we go. [AUDIENCE CHEERS] [♪♪♪] [BIRDS CHIRPING] [WOMAN BREATHING] [PLAYING SOFTLY] ♪ I walk through the valley ♪ ♪ Of the shadow of death ♪ ♪ And I fear no evil ♪ ♪ Because I’m blind to it all ♪ ♪ And my mind
My gun ♪ ♪ They comfort me ♪ ♪ Because I know
I’ll kill my enemies ♪ ♪ When they come ♪ ♪ Surely goodness and mercy
Will follow me ♪ ♪ All the days of my life ♪ ♪ And I will dwell
On this earth ♪ ♪ Forever more ♪ ♪ Said I’ll walk beside
The still waters ♪ ♪ And they restore my soul ♪ ♪ But I can’t walk
On the path of the right ♪ ♪ Because I’m wrong ♪ ♪ No, I can’t walk ♪ ♪ On the path of the right ♪ ♪ Because I’m wrong ♪ What are you doing,
kiddo? You really gonna
go through with this? I’m gonna find and I’m gonna kill every last one of them. [AUDIENCE CHEERING] TROY:
Holy God. I can’t be the only one
in the crowd that I had shivers
watching that the first time. It really was quite powerful, but that is quite the statement
there in the end. That “I’m going to find them
and kill them. All of them.” Could you tell us
who are we going to find? What are we doing here?
NEIL: We’re gonna start there? Let’s see how I do this dance. Yeah. If the first game was
really like, the core of it, the theme was about the love
between these two characters and how we build that through
story, music, interaction, gameplay,
mechanics. This story is the counter of
that. This story is about hate. And how we use
all those same things to make the player feel that… through Ellie this time. The
first game, you play as Joel. This game,
you’re playing as Ellie. [AUDIENCE CHEERING] And that is all I’m going to say
about that. ANDY:
I kind of figured,
but I knew I needed to ask. So for you two, I know
from playing the first game, it was a powerful experience. And the characters are just– I mean, they’re,
in a good way, taxing to play. The world is always heavy
on you. How does it feel
to be back as–? I mean, Joel and Ellie
are two amazing characters. What’s it like to bring them
back to life? ASHLEY:
It’s so good. It’s just, I think, when we were shooting
the trailer, it’s amazing how fast you can– We jumped back into it. And I knew I missed playing her,
but I didn’t realize how much. And I think we’ve also been waiting
for this day since the day
we wrapped the first game. And I’m so fu– I’m so glad it’s here. Sorry. Oh, Ellie.
Sorry. I’m so glad it’s here. It was– Today’s been incredibly
emotional for all of us. I know that this is a day
of celebration for everybody at Naughty Dog. Because this has been just
tireless work for everybody. And all of us have been
trying to keep it under wraps, but it’s exactly
what Ashley said. We kept asking,
“When are we gonna do this? When are we gonna come back?
What’s the story?” I remember the first time
Neil actually sat down and said: “Okay.
Here’s what I’m thinking.” And we were at the Baptist. We were standing
outside of a bar in London. And I was just– It was so weird to hear
about this thing actually maybe being real. And that’s one level of it. “Okay. We’re gonna go in, and
we’re gonna shoot the trailer.” That’s another level of it.
And… the first time
that we walked back onstage and it wasn’t Ashley there
anymore and it wasn’t Troy, but it was Joel walking down
that hall and finding Ellie. It was overwhelming,
and I’m not using a platitude. It literally was
overwhelming to– To be in those shoes again. And I don’t think that
I’m Joel or that Joel is me. Ellie isn’t Ashley,
Ashley isn’t Ellie. These are two real people to us. These are flesh-and-blood
characters that, every once in a while, they’re kind enough
to just let us see the world
through their eyes. And to be able to
see the world again, and specifically
that world again, through Joel’s eyes was–
My heart could barely hold it. And today, sitting in the crowd
with you guys and experiencing it
for the first time here, we were in tears. And there’s nothing that
made it feel more worth it. All the lies
that we’ve had to tell over the last two
and a half years. ASHLEY: Oh, man. I lied so much.
Lied so much. But when we heard your applause
when you saw that Firefly logo and when you saw Ellie,
when you heard her voice and you heard Joel’s voice,
we can’t thank you enough. Because that made every second
that we’ve had to wait worth it. [AUDIENCE CHEERING]
Thank you. So I think there’s an
interesting choice in name here. “Part II.” So we’ve got
The Last of Us Part II. What does it mean,
“Part II”? Where are we? Where are we in the story
of Ellie and Joel? We’re a few years after
the events of the first game. Ellie is now 19. So much thought went into this. I know a lot of people
feel this trepidation about coming back
to these characters and revisiting
what that ending means. And worrying whether that’s
gonna spoil the first game. And you have to understand, we
feel all those things as well. No one loves these characters
more than we do. And we would not do this if we didn’t feel like
we had the right idea. And the “Part II” is really
kind of doubling down on that, to say we believe in this
so much. We’re not trying to avoid it. I’ve played with so many ideas that had different characters,
and it never felt right. The Last of Us is about these
two characters specifically. So yeah. The “Part II” is saying
this is gonna be a larger story. This is a complementary story
to the first game. But the two together are gonna
tell this much larger tale. And all I ask is,
the fans of the first one, put some faith in us. Trust us.
We’re gonna do right by you. MAN:
Yeah. Damn straight. [AUDIENCE CLAPPING] I feel that Naughty Dog
has always pushed the envelope on how characters and narrative
are developed and a part of a game. And just so integral
to the experience and define everything
you do in the games. You three, it’s funny, you’re like old friends
when you get together. And so can you tell us
all about working together to create and bring
these characters to life when you’re on the soundstage?
When you’re bringing it out? Do you ever just look at Neil
and go, “I would never say this. Never in a million years
would Ellie do this.” What is that experience like? I mean, this was– I think one of the reasons
why this project is so near and dear to me, and I know both of us, is it felt collaborative. And I think a lot of the time when we would come
to shoot the scenes, we would have a day of rehearsal where we would talk about
the scenes and comb through them.
And Neil would say: “How do you feel about
this line?” Or, “Do you feel like this is
something that she would say?” And just sort of
going through it and seeing what feels honest
and real for the character. And it’s an experience that I don’t know
if I’ve ever really had. And the subject matter and the stuff
that we’re going through in the scenes that we’re doing, as an actor,
your job is to go there and to put your emotions on the
floor and bleed on the floor. And when you do that, and you go
there emotionally with someone, you can’t help
but have a connection with the people
that you’re working with. So it’s– I’ve had some of the most
powerful experiences just working on this game.
That’s why it’s so close to me. And that’s why I’ve just–
Oh, man. I’m so excited. I think all of us–
Oh, please. Well, what’s cool is,
for me, when these guys
come by Naughty Dog because it’s not just us,
it’s the entire team. We work on this game
for years at a time. And you’re putting so much
of yourself, and you’re sacrificing so much to make this statement of sorts. And these guys come by to every get-together there is
at Naughty Dog. They really feel like part of
the Naughty Dog family. And I feel like that’s rare. And that was one of the main
reasons of wanting to come back is to work with these guys
again. That’s awesome.
I’ve said that– People ask,
“What’s your favorite character? Is Joel your favorite?”
It’s impossible to choose. What I can say is that he’s
the one that I miss the most. He’s the guy that I find myself
thinking about and wondering: “What is he up to?
What is he doing?” And it’s absolutely right. We’re a family,
and we’re all in this together. But I think all of us up here, as well as everybody else
back at Naughty Dog and everybody who’s allowed
to be a part of this, would probably agree with this. This game fundamentally
changed our lives. And in the best way.
And in the most real way. [AUDIENCE CLAPPING]
Yeah. Absolutely. But not only as an actor.
I know– I can demark the moments
when we were shooting that I felt myself growing
as an actor and as a person. The people that it’s brought
into our lives, the relationships
that we’ve built because of this game. And what’s funny is, I almost
didn’t audition for this because I was so mad
because I felt like I wasn’t right for Joel. I felt like I was too young.
I felt like– I walked into the audition room, and there’s 20 dudes
that look just like Joel. And I’ll never forget, I literally almost
walked out the door. And I was heading to the door, the casting director
called my name. And I came this close,
this close, to not experiencing any of this. To not only not be
sitting here in this chair, but not knowing Ashley,
not knowing Neil. Not being able to be a part
of this incredible story and this incredible journey,
and it was all out of fear. One of the things I learned
most, that this has taught me is don’t let fear be the reason
why you don’t do something. So yeah. And I say that
knowing that all of us are– There’s a level of fear
to what we’re doing. Because it’s scary to come back
and revisit a story, especially when
it’s been so successful, so incredibly well-received by millions upon millions
of people. It’s one of the most discussed
games that I’ve ever seen. And it’s scary
to go back into that. We’re walking around
with our hearts open and being completely vulnerable. Like Neil said, I would say,
trust us. Just trust everybody
at Naughty Dog that we know what we’re doing. That we care about this story
more than anybody. WOMAN: We love you.
Love you. Random person
in the audience. [LAUGHS] When you watch the trailer, there are a lot of iconic
moments as you go. The Firefly logo
on the stop sign. When you walk down the hall, and you see the bodies
throughout the house. But the one that struck me
the most is the shaking hand. Right? Ellie’s shaking hand.
TROY: The white knuckles. Not to be too spoiler,
but this is also, you’ll notice the tattoo
on her arm as well. So there’s plenty of things
there. What can you say about it?
Why is she shaking? There’s an amazing performance
that follows, obviously, but why does her hand shake? See,
this is the part that sucks. Because we’re like,
“Yay, there’s a Last of Us II, but we can’t talk about
anything.” There are reasons. [LAUGHING] Lamest answer of all time.
She’s gone through some shit. She’s gone through some shit.
What a shocker. You need to answer
this question. NEIL:
I need to answer? I feel like
I’ll get into trouble. Well, I’ll save you
from having to answer that one. How about that?
You go on to the performance. And that is you actually sing “Through the Valley”
there in that. ASHLEY: Yeah.
It’s amazing. Fantastic. TROY: Great job.
ASHLEY: Thanks. [AUDIENCE CLAPPING
AND WHISTLING] ANDY:
I know there has to be
more than just, “Hey, so wrote this song
I want you to do. I’ve got this in here.” Tell me about what happens when
you find out you need to sing. I remember we were talking. NEIL:
I sent you that scene,
I think, two years ago. Yeah. He sent me the scene
a couple years ago and then he sent me that song,
which is by– What is his name?
Shawn James. Yeah. And he was like,
“Yeah. I want you to sing it.” And I was like, “I’m so sorry.
What did you just say?” And– But, you know,
I think… there’s a lot of history
with Joel and Ellie. And sort of, you know,
music and– I’m trying to think… ANDY:
You’re treading so carefully
right now. I know.
It’s amazing. I was definitely very scared
to do it. I’ll say that. But I think it– I wanted to make sure that
it made sense for Ellie, and I think it did. And I think it’s a cool
little moment. And we’ll see. Yeah. So this scene, we started
working on about two years ago. So I asked Ashley, I’m like,
“Okay. Here’s a song I wanna do. I think it’ll be cool.
Send me a scratch track. We just wanna cut something
together to see if it works.” So she sends me
this “simple” recording she just threw together and it’s so beautiful. In fact, when we listened to it, we’re like, “It’s actually
a little too good.” And we got a voice coach, this really great singer
Melissa Reese, who came and worked with Ashley
to make her sing worse so she would sound
more like Ellie. What you’re hearing
is a much worse version of how Ashley can really sing. TROY: She’s too good.
ANDY: Too good. It think it was a different kind
of acting than I’ve ever done. Because you– Like, you sort of try to find
a way that a character talks. But we don’t really
get the opportunity to figure out how a character
would sing. And Melissa
was so great with that, sort of figuring out
the roughness and the edges
of some of the notes. Yeah. I was so nervous because I had to go in for
some of the rehearsals for it and everybody’s just like
sitting there watching me. They’re like, “Okay. Go. Sing.”
And I was like: “Okay. I walk through,” I’m like playing
with my clothes. I was like,
“This is so embarrassing.” But we found it. We figured it out and sort of
found the way that Ellie sings. Yeah.
ANDY: That’s great. Well, I got a little
insider info that this is a new set of performance capture that you guys
are using for this game. I mean, that you’ve taken it
to the next step. We even have a little bit
of a video to show how this performance
has gone forward. NEIL:
So I guess–
Yeah. I’ll set this up. So a lot of games,
and we do this sometimes, we do digital doubles. Where you cast an actor and you’re trying
to make it look as close to that actor
as you can. Ashley doesn’t look like Ellie.
Troy doesn’t look like Joel. We had to come up
with this different process. So, what we did is we created
digital doubles of them, while our artists create
a whole new, kind of next-gen sculpt
of Joel and Ellie. And what you’re
gonna see in this video is a digital double of Ashley
with Ellie’s texture so she can be very freckled. You’re gonna see it
transform and morph into Ellie. We’re trying to take
the performance from the digital double and transpose it onto Ellie.
So we can play that. [AUDIENCE CHUCKLES] ASHLEY:
So pretty. ANDY:
Well, I think the detail
is striking as far as the engine as well. You guys have updated that
for Last of Us Part II. NEIL:
Yeah. So this is by far,
within Sony’s group, this is the most advanced
character model we’ve ever created. And just the way the flesh
can move over the bone and the subtlety
we can get with the eyes. We could never cut to
a close-up of eyes before because we couldn’t get
the fidelity. Now we can. ANDY:
So, what I think
is interesting too is that you can take
these performances and bring them back
to the workshop and meld them to create
the perfect scene. Direct a scene unlike
you could ever do even in film. NEIL:
Yeah. It’s definitely– In film, when you wanna go
between takes, you need a cut in the middle. Here, we can blend
between different takes. We can create a performance. It’s a collaboration
with the animators and the artists at Naughty Dog. They’re definitely a part of
putting all this all together. ASHLEY:
It’s so crazy because this was
a full day of just doing TROY: Nothing but this.
facial movements like this. TROY:
It’s weird. They ask you
to do things– You’re like: “I don’t know if my face
has ever done that.” “Can you make this sound?” “I have no idea.
We’re gonna find out.” ASHLEY: Yeah.
TROY: But it’s crazy because– We spent hours
on just lip purses and stuff like that,
or blinks or swallowing. And they would shoot it
in something like 150 or 200 frames
a second just to get what your face
looks like when you swallow. Which is crazy to think that that video exists
out in the world right now. ASHLEY:
Oh, man. And the memes begin. So we’ve got
these characters here. How does that feel
when you’re performing? A year and a half ago, you shot. That’s the amazing thing,
by the way, is this didn’t just happen
last week. You guys shot this
a year and a half ago and have been
waiting to show this to us. I’m sure there’s been a lot done
on the game since. NEIL:
We made a little game
called Uncharted 4 in the middle there. A little game.
A little game, Uncharted. Also, I think you guys opened
the show this year for PSX. NEIL: Right.
And you also closed the show. That’s the power of Naughty Dog.
Right, everybody? [AUDIENCE CHEERING]
ASHLEY: Whoo! But just real quick. I’ll say,
there was a big discussion within Naughty Dog and Sony about where should we show
this trailer? Some were saying we should wait
until E3. E3’s bigger. But we’re such fans of PSX,
and being here with the fans and sharing it with you guys. [AUDIENCE CHEERING] That this was the venue for it. There was no other option. So in the last game, we obviously played
both characters. Can you give us any kind of
hints as far as the gameplay? As far as where? Is Ellie our star in this one, where Joel was our star
in the first? NEIL:
Joel was the star in the first.
Ellie’s the star in this. Ellie plays different from Joel. I’m getting into
risky territory here. Some things are evolutions,
some things are reinventions. But there will be a gameplay
reveal down the road. ANDY:
Yeah. I’m certain. So as far as playing
these characters again, when you find out the story,
when you sit down, I assume you guys
go out to dinner, sit down and you hear the story. What is it like to find–? You were probably going: “I don’t know where these
characters are going.” Until you hear the story.
What is that like? ASHLEY:
Um… I– It’s heavy. It’s heavy. I think– I know we’re
saying it over and over again, but there is such an attachment to these characters
and this story and everybody at Naughty Dog. There was– It was like a cocktail
of emotions of just being excited
to get back into it. I cried just because
I’m just emotional all the time. But I just– It’s– I actually remember this.
We went to a restaurant and I was like, “Okay. So we’re gonna do this DLC
called Left Behind. Let me kind of tell you
what we’re thinking.” That’s where we
discussed a lot about Ellie and her sexual orientation,
and who she is. And so we kind of walked through
the whole story of Left Behind and Ashley’s crying at the end. People are looking at us weird,
like: “That’s fucked up. This guy brought her here
to break up with her.” [AUDIENCE LAUGHING] I’m like, “I have one more story
I wanna pitch you. It’s still early.
We’re working on it.” And I walked her
through the story of Part II. And she’s like bawling
by the end of it. I’m like, “It’s too much.
Don’t tell me this now.” But it’s just so great. It’s just so great to be back. I mean, I can’t say that enough. For me, again,
this is not just one sit-down and “Let’s run over the story.” This has been a conversation
that’s been ongoing. And typically,
in our conversations, it starts off with Neil saying: “Let me ask you a question. What if?” And there’s this.
This amazing thing. And so to me, I don’t remember
just hearing the pitch. It’s more about
the fact that these guys have allowed Ashley and I
to be part of this conversation. And we’ve seen the evolution. We saw the evolution
of the first game. Where it, originally,
was supposed to end. Then where it ended up being,
which to me, is the most honest, most perfect ending
to a videogame I’ve ever seen. Ever, ever, ever.
[AUDIENCE CHEERING] And– Which has lent itself
so well to, does Ellie know that Joel
lied to her? And what does the “okay” mean? What happened immediately after? And when we did One Night live,
it was great, because we kind of got to
dip our toe in that water and see what that felt like
a little bit. In a scene that–
It’s not in canon, and Neil said that specifically this is something
completely separate. NEIL: Well…
Huh? Go ahead. Go ahead.
You said, “This isn’t in canon. This is just something here
for tonight.” You made me lose
my train of thought. But again, it’s great to be
a part of the conversation to see how far it’s come. And again,
the trust that we have, there’s so much trust between what Naughty Dog trusts
with their actors and how much the actors
entrust to Naughty Dog and everybody else
who’s gonna do this. They have hired us,
and they trust us to give them
the performances that give you guys
and give us, as gamers, the experience
that they wanna tell. And then we trust them to take
what we do and execute that. And so it’s just this
great symbiotic relationship. But for them to bring us
in so early on, and into the conversation and allow us to see, not only, how it’ll end up,
but where it started, is one of the reasons why
we feel so attached to this. We have grown
with these characters, and we have grown
with this story too. Yeah.
They’re definitely memorable. TROY: Yeah.
So at Naughty Dog, I know you guys
are always trying to see: “How do we
one-up our previous game? And then how do we do that?” And I think the original
Last of Us has scenes like the giraffe, I think,
that sticks with people. You go like,
“Okay. We’re gonna make Part II. Oh, my God.
We’ve gotta one-up that.” How do you approach
looking for those moments that define a game like that? Is it as simple as like: “These are gonna be defining
moments?” Or do they find you? NEIL:
It’s different for a sequel
than the original. The original, you don’t have
a lot to draw from. It’s all kind of fresh ideas. With the sequel, you could
easily fall into the trap of: “The first one was great.” You start operating
out of fear of: “We need the ‘giraffe’ moment,
the winter sequence, the guy that’s gonna be
like David.” I’ve definitely felt that: “I don’t know if these scenes
are gonna be as good as that.” But you have to ignore all that
and say, “What is this story? “What are the moments
for this story? “Where are the characters now? They’re different than
they were in the first game.” And honor that. There might not
be a ‘giraffe’ sequence. There might not be a character
like David. There will be different moments. Hopefully, they resonate
as much as in the first game. Yeah, and we all want–
Can we play it tomorrow, please? And it’s available now.
ASHLEY: Yes, please. I know that it’s important
that you guys are showing and sharing
this early. I know you have a lot of work.
You did just finish Uncharted. Do we have any idea
when we would maybe see Last of Us Part II
in our PlayStations? We have an idea, but we’ve
learned now, several times, not to say that publicly until
we’re confident with that idea. So we’re gonna hold off
on saying when it comes out for a while. TROY:
The future. It’s in the future. So I learned something
interesting from you the other day, which was that you had
the ends set for both Left Behind
and the original Last of Us. As you got towards
the end of production and you found yourself
getting to the end that you wanted to find more,
you wanted to get more. So you guys don’t just sit down
and make one scene a weekend. Do the whole game,
“See you. We’ll come back.” How is it when you come back
together, when you’re trying
to fill in the gaps, when you’re trying to find
each scene in each area. How do you define that? And how do you revisit and bring
that energy back to that scene when you’re like, “We’re going
back and doing it again?” I think it’s important,
not just working with actors, but the entire team, that everyone has
a full understanding of: “What is the experience
we’re after?” And in very simple terms,
“What is each beat about?” Like when Joel and Ellie are
in Pittsburgh in the first game, it’s really about the first time Joel is trusting
Ellie as an equal. We’re like, “What are the set
pieces that could get us that? “What moments and mechanics
will get us that? What are the scenes
that will get that?” So when we capture scenes,
we’ll do these mini-arcs. We’ll capture all of Pittsburgh
at the same time so that we can kind of wrap
our head around it. It’s almost like a mini-story. We’ll take a break,
implement stuff, other levels will come online. When we feel we’re ready
for another sequence, like the winter sequence,
we captured all that in one go, and I think we did it
chronologically. TROY: Pretty much.
I don’t remember. But that’s what helps us
kind of just compartmentalize each one
of these aspects, and then they slot in. As long as your plan is good
and you thought things through, they slot in easily
with minor adjustments as you’re trying
to fit it together. So when you have to
get direction from Neil, is he a tyrant on the set? ASHLEY: No. TROY: No.
No? He’s the best. There’s this great shot. My wife
came to set one day, and she’s a fantastic
photographer. And there’s this shot
that she got of Neil and I. And it’s from behind,
and it’s Neil talking to me and I’m gesticulating
just like this: And it was– I think it was when
we were reshooting something, but it wasn’t the “Sarah” scene.
It was something else. Neil’s never been afraid
to have a conversation with you and ask you genuinely: “What are you thinking?
How do you feel about this?” Or, “We need to find a way
to get there together.” Again, like we talked about
bringing in the conversation, that continues
when we’re on set together. There’s nothing about a tyrant.
He’s open to anything. There have been
so many bad ideas that I felt
really passionate about and he’s been kind enough
to let me try them out. He’s like, “You got that out
of your system. Do you wanna go back
to the way we were doing it?” But no,
you’re the greatest director I’ve ever worked with, man. ASHLEY:
It’s true. Anybody who’s an actor would be
privileged to work with you. ASHLEY:
I didn’t actually think
you were a tyrant. NEIL:
I think the more you do this, the more you get confident
in knowing that you don’t know
what you’re doing. So it really is about play. We come in to shoot these scenes
with an idea. “We think this is how
it’s gonna work.” As you get it up on its feet,
you discover different things. You want to remain open to them. So when we sit down, we’ll do
a scene, then we’ll talk about: “Okay. This part,
what if we played it this way? Let’s just see what happens.” A lot of times,
we’ll talk about it and say: “Let’s see what happens.” Hopefully, we find these
little magical moments that then help make it
for a richer story. ASHLEY:
Yeah. He’s hands-down one of
my favorite directors I’ve ever worked with.
I think because it’s just an open– It’s so fun.
It’s so fun working with you. And so I think it’s why
I’ve missed it so much, because I think we’ve built so much trust between all of us to try something that
might turn out to be stupid, but he still gives us
the freedom to do it. And most of the time, he knows. He’ll come over, “I know exactly
what this is missing.” He won’t say it,
but he’ll be, “Try this.” Then you’re like,
“Oh, my God. Yes.” You think I know. I don’t know.
You know. You know. I think about
the ranch-house scene. I love talking about
that one. Where Joel finds Ellie up
in the room reading the diary. And he’s like, “Is this what
little girls’ problems were?” And we worked on
that scene for hours. On a TV or film set, you’ve got
a day to make. You’ve gotta go. You have to shoot fast, and you don’t really have
a lot of time to spend time workshopping it. Come prepared, be camera-ready
and shoot that scene. But the fact that there was such
a freedom to be able to explore, discuss, and have
contention there, and all of us were feeling like it’s good, but it’s not perfect.
It’s not right. And I’ll never forget,
I asked Neil, “Can I just take five minutes?”
He goes, “Take 10.” And I went off to the back
of the soundstage, and just sat down. Ashley and I were not
frustrated with each other, we were frustrated
about the scene. We weren’t really connecting
on it. We were executing
the lines, and we were doing
the scene justice, but it wasn’t perfect. And we came back,
and something happened. And it’s when Ashley stood up. And I wasn’t looking at her.
I was looking away. And she said, “Everybody that
I’ve cared about has left me. Everybody–” She saw I wasn’t looking at her,
and she shoved me. “Everyone fucking except for
you.” And the scene took off. It’s stuff like that.
It’s having a director. It’s having
an entire creative team that’s open to finding
those little bits of magic. As opposed to,
“I have a day to make. I really have to shoot
these pages. It’s good enough.
Let’s move on.” But going,
“If we leave here today, “and we don’t have this scene
in the can, “that’s fine.
We’ll come back, “but we’re not going
to put this away until it’s perfect.
Until it’s right.” ANDY: Yeah. That’s awesome.
Yeah. [AUDIENCE CLAPPING] ANDY:
So as you said at the beginning, it’s a story about
the performances, the game, the gameplay,
and also the music. Can you tell us anything
about the music? Do we have Gustavo returning? What’s going on with that? So first game was composed
by Gustavo Santaolalla. Second game is composed
by Gustavo Santaolalla. [AUDIENCE CHEERING] [ANDY AND ASHLEY CHUCKLE] He is really amazing. He’s a good friend of mine
at this point. Again, we’ve been talking now for a couple years
about this project. He’s never done a sequel
for anything he’s done. He’s so prolific and so good. He has these passion projects,
and he just picks and chooses. He doesn’t care about money. So he started writing
some new themes for us. And for this trailer, you heard
some new theme in the beginning and then a new rendition of
the original theme at the end. But I think we have
a short clip that we cut of a new theme for the game
that we’re gonna play for you and threw some concept art
in there that nothing is too spoiler-y. So you get to see
some new stuff. [AUDIENCE CHEERS] ANDY:
Do we have it? Whenever. [♪♪♪] [AUDIENCE CLAPPING] ANDY:
I think it’s one of the things
that I’ve had the luck of– I mean, I met Naughty Dog
a long, long time ago. One of the things that they’ve
had, from the beginning– What, 25 years? You’re now
12 years with Naughty Dog. They’ve had amazing people
working there and done a lot of
amazing things. But the thing
that I hear Neil say, and I’m gonna repeat here
a little bit is the passion that runs
from every single person at Naughty Dog
about their games, about what they’re making. As you can see here
from the performers, that same vein
runs through those, and I think it shows
in the game. I think that’s why everyone
loved the original game. And I think that you can already see that passion
flowing into this year-and-a-half-old sneak-peek into what we have to come
for Last of Us II. I wanna thank you guys so much
for taking the time to talk about the game today. I would’ve loved to have gotten
more about the gameplay. I know that that’s the secret. NEIL:
the Game Informer cover. Exactly. But I think my last question
for you would be thus far in the journey when you go here,
and you revisit, and you talk
about this again, do you think The Last of Us
can exist without Joel and Ellie?
Are they the last of us? What is your interpretation of what we’ve seen
and understood so far about the game and the series? Don’t look at me. [LAUGHS] It’s somewhat–
They’re the heart of it. I don’t see it without them. That’s all I can really say. It’s like they’re–
Obviously, we have the infected and there’s the world, and there
are all these different factions and how they’re trying to
eke out survival in this world. But at its core,
it’s about human relationships. And this being the most
important one in the story. So… it is what it is.
Thank you very much. We’re a little early
finishing up, but I think we’ve definitely explored The Last of Us Part II. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you for your time.
TROY: Our pleasure, man. NEIL: Thank you.
TROY: Thank you, guys. COMPUTER VOICE: