'The Last of Us' is coming to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights

June 15, 2023, 1:11 PM · Universal will welcome "The Last of Us" to Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando and Hollywood this fall.

Based on the 2013 video game, the post-apocalyptic drama "The Last of Us" dropped on HBO in January, winning widespread critical acclaim. But Universal has licensed the property for Halloween Horror Nights from game developer Naughty Dog and not from Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Discovery's HBO, which produce and distribute the TV show.

"As a massive fan – and frequent attendee – of Halloween Horror Nights, we are honored to have ‘The Last of Us’ included in this year’s lineup," Naughty Dog Co-President Neil Druckmann said. "It has been an incredible thrill for us at Naughty Dog to collaborate with Universal, bringing the world of the game to life, focusing on even the tiniest details that our fans know so well."

The house will be set in the Pittsburgh Quarantine Zone, where Halloween Horror Nights visitors will need to navigate their way past the Infected as well as the Hunters, a group of hostile survivors.

"The world inside the game offers a multitude of suspenseful and horrifying opportunities to provide guests with a one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at Halloween Horror Nights," Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights Executive Producer John Murdy said.

"We are excited to bring 'The Last of Us' to life in a terrifying haunted house that is true to the spirit of this popular video game featuring our heroes, Joel and Ellie, Clickers and more," Universal Orlando's Lora Sauls added.

Halloween Horror Nights opens Friday, September 1 at Universal Studios Florida, and then on Thursday, September 7 at Universal Studios Hollywood, running select nights on each coast through October 31. "The Last of Us" will be one of 10 houses in Orlando and eight in Hollywood, where the Terror Tram also will return this year. Single-night tickets are now on sale for both coasts via Universal's websites, with discounted tickets starting at $70 a night available through our travel partner.

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Replies (7)

June 15, 2023 at 2:04 PM

Great get! I wonder if they will provide guests with bricks or empty glass bottles before they enter the House...

June 15, 2023 at 2:55 PM

Pedro Pascal will have to wait another day to join the ranks of actors featured in both Disney and Universal theme parks, I guess.

June 15, 2023 at 8:19 PM

It makes sense to use the game instead of the TV series. The zombies were more present in the game whereas the show took more of a focus on the human drama. That, and it’s easier to use the game’s references for the characters rather than try and find convincing Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey lookalikes.

June 16, 2023 at 8:59 AM

This leads me to believe that HHN simply cannot afford massive outlays for IP in the current climate. Universal was able to afford top franchises in the past because those rights were more reasonably priced as creators didn't see the point of negotiating higher fees for temporary attractions. Now that franchises are seeing massive bumps from being used during HHN (along with an overall increase in the cost of licensing IP), the costs to license well-know properties for events like HHN just isn't as profitable anymore.

I think fans of HHN need to come to the realization that future events will probably have 1 big-name IP, 5-6 Universal-owned IPs (or at least peripherally related to the company - i.e. on Peacock), and then half of the lineup consisting of original content. I still LOVE HHN, but it does seem that the cost of licensing IPs for the event is presenting a lot of issue with keeping the event as fresh as it was over its first 30 years. HHN used to be an indicator of the horror market (if a show or movie was at HHN, it was a "hot" property), but now it appears that the event can no longer afford to be a bell cow of horror.

June 16, 2023 at 9:31 AM

I agree with Russell that the cost of IP's has probably increased but I'm not mad about it either. I've now been 4 times and this year will be my 5th and every year so far my favorite house has been an original. More original houses isn't a bad thing in my mind but I do get that the big names draw more people in so overall for the hard core fans its win win. Less people and better houses with originals. :)

June 16, 2023 at 9:31 AM

for what it's worth, the hot rumor is that the last of us (based on the show) was scheduled to come to the event in 2022. the delay of the show led to HBO/WB pulling the license and replacing it with the evil dead rises ... which was also delayed. that's why we ended up with Hotel in Hollywood and Hellblock Horror in Orlando.

all to say, yes it's more difficult than ever for universal to license big properties — but it's not impossible. and I'd expect at least one more non-Universal IP to be announced this year.

June 16, 2023 at 12:54 PM

At this point, I am rooting for NBCUniversal to go ahead and buy Warner Bros. from Discovery so we can just get straight to the inevitable Disney/Universal duopoly in Hollywood and themed entertainment. HHN could be nothing but Universal and WB IP each year, and that would be fine.

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