A major HBO television series is taking over some Edmonton streets.
The production is not only transforming some areas of the city to look post-apocalyptic but it’s also bringing in some big opportunities.
Downtown, Rice Howard Way looks like the end of the world, but Edmontonians walking by say the apocalypse never looked so good.
“I think that’s really cool this is happening in our city right now. The kids are really interested in it. They think that this is exciting,” passerby Amber Wenzel said.
“Pretty cool, I’d say. You don’t always get to see something like it,” passerby Haven Wenzel said.
HBO is filming a new series based on a popular video game called The Last of Us, and the multi-million-dollar TV production is filming its first season all over Alberta.
‘The Last of Us’ TV series filming in Alberta to star ‘Game of Thrones’ actors Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey
“We’ve got thousands of people working on this project, from small communities to large communities, and right now, they are in Edmonton. They’ve got the legislature that they are filming in,” Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer said.
The show stars Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal, who plays a character who escorts a teenage girl across a post-apocalyptic world filled with dangers.
To set the scene, structures like the legislature building and streets have been transformed.
Schweitzer said this is the largest television production in Canadian history.
“HBO’s The Last of Us, their projected budget for Alberta is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, so this is a big, big project,” Schweitzer said
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“I think it’s great for all Albertans because it’s an economic boost for things like tourism, investment, and many companies thrive,” IATSE 212 vice-president Damian Petti said.
The minister said film industry investment in Alberta has doubled over last year, and he anticipates more projects will be headed our way.
It’s welcome news to an industry hit hard by the pandemic.
“We fixed our television film and tax credit. Now, we attract these larger projects like The Last of Us, and it’s just been a win. They’ve shown up, they’ve delivered and they are creating jobs in Alberta, and it’s amazing to see this investment happen,” Schweitzer said
“I think we will see more and more. It’s my goal to help to bring that to Edmonton. We are a great place to do business,” Edmonton Screen Industries Office CEO Tom Viinikka said.
The production is scheduled to continue through to the summer of 2022.
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