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Game

HBO releases its first ‘The Last of Us’ trailer

September 26th is The Last Of Us Day and HBO is marking the occasion with the first trailer for its highly anticipated adaptation of Naughty Dog’s game. The clip, which runs for just over a minute and a half, includes some of the most memorable moments from the 2013 title (which just got a complete remake for PS5). It features the leaning building from an early level and a bombastic opening outbreak sequence, as well as the unmistakable sound of a Clicker. It seems that the show will draw from the Left Behind expansion as well.

For the uninitiated, The Last of Us tells the story of Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsay). The pair travel across a near-future version of the US that has been left devastated by a fungal infection, which turns victims into aggressive, zombie-like creatures. The trailer does a solid job of capturing the terrifying atmosphere of the game.

It’s clear HBO has high hopes for the series. Last month, it closed out a big sizzle reel that highlighted upcoming projects with the first footage from the show. While there’s no specific release date as yet, The Last of Us will premiere on HBO and HBO Max in early 2023.

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Categories
Game

Nick Offerman will play Bill in ‘The Last of Us’ on HBO

Ron Swanson is coming to the world of The Last of Us. Yesterday, Murray Bartlett, a cast member on the upcoming HBO show based on the video game, said that he recently shot scenes with Nick Offerman, a person who hadn’t yet been linked to the production. Now, Naughty Dog has confirmed a report from Variety that Offerman is playing the loner Bill in The Last of Us. Bill had a small but crucial role in the original game that was played by W. Earl Brown, who said earlier this year he wouldn’t be reprising the role in the HBO show.

Offerman is not the first person to be cast as Bill. The role was originally offered to Con O’Neil, who previously had worked with show runner Craig Manzin on his Chernobyl series (also on HBO). According to Variety, O’Neil had to back out of the role due to scheduling conflicts.

In addition to filming scenes with Bartlett, Offerman should get plenty of screen time with series leads Pedro Pascal, who is playing Joel, and Bella Ramsey, who plays Ellie. While there have been plenty of leaks from location shooting around Canada that shows this production is well underway, there’s no word yet on when The Last of Us will arrive on HBO. It’s expected sometime in 2022, though. 

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Categories
Tech News

HBO Max adds key accessibility feature for visually impaired users

Massive streaming service HBO Max has added a key accessibility feature for blind and visually impaired users, helping them enjoy the same content as everyone else. The service now offers audio descriptions for content, which describes what is happening on the screen beyond the dialog and sound effects. This feature is joined by multiple other changes intended to improve accessibility.

WarnerMedia agreed to add accessibility for low-vision and blind users back in October. In the first rollout of features under this plan, the company is adding around 1,500 hours of audio descriptions for select content, including some third-party content, HBO originals, HBO Max originals, and Warner Bros movies, according to the American Council of the Blind.

In addition to the audio descriptions, HBO Max is also rolling out a ‘prominently featured’ Audio Description category in the navigation menu so that users can rapidly access this media. Both the HBO Max mobile apps and website are getting accessibility improvements that enable them to work better with screen reading software.

Likewise, the changes arriving this week include new HBO Max help articles for customers who have disabilities, ones intended to help users utilize accessibility features. Finally, HBO Max is also training its customer service reps on how to support these customers.

As for the audio descriptions, the ACB says WarnerMedia will expand the amount of programming that has this option — to the tune of around double the audio description content by next March and 6,000 hours or more by March 2023. Current shows that include this accessibility feature include Sesame Street, Dunkirk, His Dark Materials, Euphoria, and more.

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