The Last of Us is one of those game franchises that always seemed perfect for a TV adaptation. HBO is taking on the challenge, and we now know who’s playing the main role of Joel: it’s the Mandalorian himself, Pedro Pascal.
Deadline revealed Pascal’s casting soon after we heard that Ellie will be played by Bella Ramsey, another Game of Thrones alum. Pascal, you may remember, portrayed the charismatic Oberyn Martell, also known as The Red Viper, before Ser Gregor Clegane crushed his head like an overripe melon. Ramsey, meanwhile, was GoT’s Lyanna Mormont, who defeated but was ultimately killed by an Ice Giant in the final season.
The words “video game adaptation,” be it TV or movie, often bring shudders to those who hear them, but HBO has a reputation for producing top-quality programming. It was announced last year that Johan Renck and Craig Mazin, who were both involved in the excellent Chernobyl miniseries, will act as The Last of Us director (pilot episode) and co-writer, respectively. Chernobyl, one of IMDB’s five best shows of all time, was created by Mazin and directed by Renck.
Neil Druckman, writer of the first Last of Us and a co-writer on the game’s sequel, will also serve as a co-writer on the HBO show.
According to the series’ official synopsis: “The story, set 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed, centers on the relationship between Joel, a smuggler in this new world, and Ellie, a teenager who may be the key to a cure for a deadly pandemic. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle the 14-year-old girl out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey as they traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.”
Filming on The Last of Us begins this spring.