HBO has found its Joel and Ellie for the upcoming television series adapatation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us.
The cable streamer has cast The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal as Joel in the highly-anticipated series adaptation of the hit video game. He will be joined by fellow Game of Thrones alum Bella Ramsey, who will be playing 14-year old Ellie.
Pascal, 45, stars as the title character Din Djarin on the Disney Plus space Western series The Mandalorian but gained prominence for portraying Oberyn Martell on the fourth season of the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, where Bella Ramsey had her breakout role as Lyanna Mormont.
The two GoT actors will co-star in The Last of Us as Joel and Ellie, respectively. The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline first reported the casting news, which was confirmed by series creators on social media.
Pascal's other acting credits include Javier Peña on the Netflix crime series Narcos (2015–2017). Outside of television, he has appeared in the films The Great Wall (2016), Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017), The Equalizer 2 (2018), Triple Frontier (2019), Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), and most recently Netflix's We Can Be Heroes (2020).
The Last of Us co-creator Neil Druckmann and developer Naughty Dog confirmed the casting of Joel and Ellie on Twitter. "Aaaaand there’s the other half. Stoked to have Pedro aboard our show!," wrote Druckmann on Thursday (Feb, 11).
Aaaaand there’s the other half. Stoked to have Pedro aboard our show! https://t.co/Etsjvfb2Wi— Dr. Uckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) February 11, 2021
Based on the video game of the same name, the series takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. The story follows Joel, a hardened survivor, who is hired to smuggle Ellie out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the US and depend on each other for survival.
As previously reported, The Last of Us is being adapted for television by Craig Mazin, who worked with HBO on the acclaimed 2019 miniseries Chernobyl. Mazin is writing and co-executive producing the series with Druckmann, co-director and writer of both The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part 2. Naughty Dog president Evan Wells will also serve as an executive producer, alongside veteran HBO producer Carolyn Strauss.
Gustavo Santaolalla, who composed and performed the original score for both games in The Last of Us franchise, will score the series.
The TV series will be the first from Sony Interactive Entertainment’s film and TV group, PlayStation Productions, which is co-producing the series with Sony Pictures Television.
A release date for The Last of Us has not yet been announced by HBO.
(Images via Disney Plus and Naughty Dog)