In a little over one week Naughty Dog‘s upcoming title, The Last of Us, went from rumor vapor to one of the most highly-anticipated titles announced at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards. Leading up to the show, details (in the form of an Uncharted 3 easter egg) began to hint at what could be the underlying set-up for The Last of Us; however, official info still remains especially scarce.

Fortunately, over the weekend, Naughty Dog offered up a few more official details – as well as dispelled one piece of fan speculation.

Shortly after the VGA reveal of The Last of Us teaser trailer, Sony sent out an official press release for the upcoming game that laid-out the basic premise for the title:

The Last of Us is a genre-defining experience that blends survival and action elements to tell a character driven story about a population decimated by a modern plague. Abandoned cities are being reclaimed by nature and the remaining survivors are killing each other for food, weapons and whatever they can get their hands on. Joel, a ruthless survivor, and Ellie, a brave young teenage girl who is wise beyond her years, must work together to survive their journey across what remains of the United States.

The aforementioned, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception “easter egg” seems to hint at the possibility of the “modern plague” deriving from a mysterious Cordyceps-like fungus – one that, once infected, could take control of human hosts and turn them into the vicious mutants seen at the end of the trailer.

'The Last of Us' Joel

That said, the back story of the game wasn’t the only element that was causing speculation on the internet in the wake of the teaser trailer, as Naughty Dog Creative Director, Neil Druckmann, took to the Twitter-verse to put to rest one piece of fan speculation that was gaining heat on the Internet – namely, that Juno star, Ellen Page, would be portraying, Ellie, the female protagonist seen in the VGA teaser trailer.

Druckmann, who can be “followed” @Neil_Druckmann, quickly fired back:

The two leads of The Last of Us are played by Troy Baker [@TroyBakerVA] and [Ashley Johnson] @TheVulcanSalute. You’ll be hearing from them pretty soon.

Johnson’s in-game mo-cap appearance does bare a slight resemblance to Ellen Page (see our header image) but it’s still hard to believe that the rumor actually gained enough traction for Druckmann to step-in (with nothing concrete to substantiate it in the first place).

That said, in the Internet world, where speculation can quickly catch fire, it’s nice to have developers waiting in the wings, ready to knock down rumors that distract from more official news.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.

The Last of Us is currently in development for the PS3.

Sources: Sony & Neil Druckmann [via CVG]

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