HBO Max reportedly leaks Last of Us show release date

Pedro Pascal as Joel, with Bella Ramsey as Ellie, in the foreground in The Last of Us.
(Image credit: HBO via YouTube)

HBO Max's next big show, The Last of Us, is almost ready. Or at least that's what an alleged leak of The Last of Us' release date online would suggest. The series, which adapts Naughty Dog and Sony's popular video game, follows survivors Joel and Ellie, as the former protects the latter through a post-apocalyptic landscape, looks like a sure-fire contender for our list of the best HBO Max shows.

Don't rush to get HBO Max (or Crave in Canada, Sky Atlantic in the U.K. or Binge in Australia) immediately, as the clickers of its post-apocalyptic world will give us time for multiple festive season meals before they arrive to devour us.  

This news comes from Naughty Dog Central (opens in new tab), which shared an image for the series preview that looks to be from HBO Max's own site. The only difference between that page and the one we at Tom's Guide just tried to load are two words and a number: "Premieres Jan. 15." Yes, folks, HBO Max apparently has one of the biggest shows of 2023 locked and loaded. 

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We couch all of these sentences with 'alleged's and such because the above doesn't exactly feel like a sure-fire guarantee. It could, possibly, be Photoshopped. That said, other outlets are acting as if it's on the nose. 

A report from Video Games Chronicle (opens in new tab) claims "A senior source with knowledge of the show’s release plans told VGC that this date is legitimate and had been posted early in error. It’s also been claimed to VGC that an official reveal is scheduled for later in the week."

Analysis: HBO needs The Last of Us right now

As I wrote today, I'd cancel HBO Max (and Hulu) right now. HBO Max's November is a little thin, relying on the new Sunday 9 p.m. time-slot holder The White Lotus season 2 along with The Sex Lives of College Girls season 2, Titans season 4, Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines season 7 and A Christmas Story Christmas.

With House of the Dragon season 2 and Euphoria season 3 in the far distance, and Succession season 4 not coming until Spring 2023, the $10 (with ads) to $15 (without ads) HBO Max may feel a little expensive to some.

While we love HBO Max (it's the best streaming service in our book), we've also got holiday presents to get and budgets that are increasingly tight.

So, if this The Last of Us release date posting was indeed an accident, we understand. That said, it also makes sense that HBO Max is itching and eager to remind people that The Last Of Us is almost here. 

Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.