Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

'The Last of Us' transforms Vancouver street into wasteland

Old vehicles and tall grass transformed a city street for the filming of Mega Sword, code name for The Last of Us.

A Vancouver street looks like the world has come to an end for the filming of a popular television show. 

On Thursday, people were busy preparing for the filming of the major HBO production The Last of Us, which is using the code name Mega Sword.

A section of Alexander Street looked apocalyptic and was closed off for an elaborate set of dusty vehicles and overgrown vegetation.

The area was abuzz with painted green vehicles being brought in on truck beds and large plants sprouting up from the concrete road. To set the scene, the Vancouver street had debris on it, making it look like a wasteland. 

Due to confidentiality, security and safety concerns, the City of Vancouver does not comment on any film or television productions that are actively working in the city. 

"The city will only publicly advise on filming if there is a major impact or concern to residents and businesses such as a bridge closure or helicopter activity,” says a spokesperson with the City of Vancouver. 

The video game-turned-series is believed to be the largest series ever filmed in Canada. 

Season one of The Last of Us was filmed in Alberta and generated more than $182 million and created a total of 1,490 jobs.

According to a report by Oxford Economics, more than $141 million was spent across Canada in 2023 to film the series.

There was a large economic impact: the report found $71 million of production was spent supporting wages and salaries for local cast, crew and production personnel. Another $70 million was spent on local businesses. 

"Vancouver has a long-standing film and TV industry that is a major contributor to the economy,” says the City of Vancouver spokesperson.

Vancouver's film commissioner Geoff Teoli says 2024 has been a very exciting year for filming in the city.

"Things have come back very well for us in the City of Vancouver," says Teoli. "We're probably permitting three to four projects a day."

Vancouver was the third-largest film and TV production centre in North America in 2022. Industry production spent $4.9 billion in 2022 and the production spending by the film industry in B.C. has nearly doubled over the past decade. 

"The city strongly supports Vancouver’s thriving film and TV industry, which creates major economic and community benefits for local residents and businesses,” says the spokesperson. 

Local production company Bear and Pear Productions Inc. is set to film Mega Sword in Vancouver for a lengthy period of time, from February to August 2024. Glacier Media reached out to the production company for comment but didn't hear back.

Mega Sword is also rumoured to be filming in Port Moody and Nanaimo. 

What is allowed and not allowed at filming locations?

Security and safety plays a big role in projects being filmed in the city.

Teoli explains how it's important to keep crowds at a minimum for safety reasons.

"One of the great things about Vancouver when people are filming here is that is that we are supporting the film industry," he says. 

People should not give away storylines or spoilers from what they see during filming. 

"There's a lot of efforts to conceal what is happening from the public," he says. "In most cases, they don't want the hints about the storyline to get out too far in advance."

Previously, some productions have had to film fake scenes to throw people off the storyline, but he hasn't heard of any productions doing that right now. 

"There's some really exciting stuff going on in town. I understand the excitement," he says. 

He's asking people to please hold off on the watch parties until productions get to air. 

[email protected]