I’ve always dreamed of some sort of film or series adaptation of The Last of Us and now, it’s a reality. Here’s my dream cast for most of the characters and roles.
Without a doubt, The Last of Us is one of the greatest stories ever told in gaming history. I’ve been waiting for the sequel since the ending of the first game an although it’s finally almost here, it’s been a pretty painful wait the last couple of years. But, if there was ever a time to be a fan of this game, it’s definitely now with the sequel coming and a TV series in the works at HBO. I’m extremely excited about the potential of this series with the writer and creative director of the game, Neil Druckmann, directly involved in the series, along with Chernobyl creator, Craig Mazin.
Before this was even announced, I’ve always dreamt about who would play these iconic characters in a project like this. So, here we go. This is my dream cast for these characters and I think each actor or actress would be perfect for these roles. I’ll be listing most of the main characters, which are probably the most recognizable, and I’ll try to cast some of the others as well. That is, of course, if the series is a direct adaptation of the game(s).
Hugh Jackman as Joel
I’ve thought of other potential actors who can portray the character of Joel, such as Jim Caviezel, Joel Edgerton, Chris Evans, or Josh Brolin, but I always end up with Hugh Jackman. I know this is a popular pick and may be a bit unoriginal, but I really think he’d be a perfect fit for the role. He’s a phenomenal actor and I think he’d be able to draw inspiration from his role in Logan, which I found very similar to Joel, both in appearance and temperament. This role needs someone with experience and incredible acting ability, and Jackman is just that. Joel, for the majority of the game, isn’t very compassionate and will do whatever is necessary. But, he’s like this because of what has happened in his life and the world he currently lives in. He does go through some dramatic changes throughout the game, though. Jackman, who has played someone a bit similar in Wolverine, can definitely channel the same personality again. Plus, HBO can definitely afford him with its big budgets and I think it’ll want a high profile actor to take charge.
Kaitlyn Dever as Ellie
Kaitlyn Dever is a young actress who I believe has a big future in this industry. She was fantastic in Booksmart, as well as the Netflix original series, Unbelievable, which got her a Golden Globe nomination. I think what also helps her case is how she has a working relationship in the past with The Last of Us developer, Naughty Dog, where she portrayed Cassie Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. I think she can definitely pull of Ellie’s look, as well as bring that same intensity and bravery Ellie has in the game. Ellie is a very diverse character and we see her grow up right before our eyes as we’re playing the game. At first, she seems a bit timid and doesn’t always know what needs to be done next. But, in the world she’s living in, you can see how mature she becomes because she doesn’t have much of a choice other than to do so. Dever would portray this perfectly, I think.
If the creators do decide for a younger version, I think McKenna Grace would also be a perfect fit.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Tommy
I think Josh Holloway has more of the look of Tommy, but I feel Nikolaj Coster-Waldau would be great in this role for a number of reasons. For one, we’ve seen what he can bring to the table as Jamie Lannister in Game of Thrones, which so happens to be another massive HBO hit. So, getting him to jump on board in this project, I feel, wouldn’t take much convincing. I also think he’s an actor who deserves a bit more credit and doesn’t get nearly as many big roles as he should. Getting cast as Tommy, who’s an important character in the game, would be great for his career and I think it’ll be a different role he hasn’t done quite yet. We’ve seen him be a savage while also being somewhat compassionate and caring in Game of Thrones. Tommy is a similar character in that aspect who will do what needs to be done, but also takes others methods and avenues into consideration. Plus, physically, I think he can most definitely pull off his appearance.
Annie Wersching as Tess
Druckmann, Mazin, and the rest of HBO don’t have to look very hard for someone to play Tess because Annie Wersching would be perfect for this role. For starters, she already portrayed the character in the game, lending her voice and actually performing the motion capture. She’d be extremely familiar with the role and there’s no one else who knows it like she does. She also has a similar appearance to Tess, which only helps her case for it. Another actress I think can pull it off is Sarah Wayne Callies.
Rosario Dawson as Marlene
For the majority of the game, Marlene’s moral compass is always in question, at least as the player. You think she cares for Ellie and others, but ultimately, you do come to the realization that she’s in it for the greater good. In hindsight, it does make since because she’s the leader of the fireflies and she’s willing to sacrifice one person in order to save everyone else. I think many people would feel the same way. Her methods are questionable, though, especially since she’s the leader of the Fireflies in the game. I think Dawson can pull off her character in more ways than one and she can also pull off the appearance.
W. Earl Brown as Bill
This is yet another character who I feel needs to be reprised by the original actor who voiced him and provided the motion capture. W. Earl Brown is very underrated and I think he would jump at the opportunity to play Bill once again in a live-action format. He knows what the character is about and he definitely looks like him. As for the character himself, he seems to be a walking contradiction. He basically speaks for Joel’s behalf in the segments of the game where they are together. He’s always telling him to be careful with Ellie because traveling with someone can hold him back and caring for someone in that world can lower the chances of surviving. But, he also cared for someone in the game who so happens to not make it. It’s an interesting dynamic I think could be explored in the series.
Dule Hill and Evan Alex as Henry and Sam
Although the big brother/little brother duo of Henry and Sam are barely in the game, it’s hard to remember a part in the game that’s as impactful as this one. I think Dule Hill and Evan Alex can pull off the father and son dynamic extremely effectively. It may not affect the overall story of the game, but it does offer a different look into the world you’re playing in. It’d be a perfect set of episodes in the series where it sort of strays away from the task at hand in order to tell a different story about humanity and relationships. The end result is pretty devastating, but I think would also be necessary to showcase in the series and Hill and Alex can definitely bring something special to the table.
Adrien Brody as David
David doesn’t appear until close to the end of the game, but it’s hard to remember a villain as intense and psychotic as he was. At first, you don’t think he’s as sinister and insane as he is, but he soon reveals himself to be a huge problem, especially for Ellie. Adrien Brody would be able to deliver that same intensity and insanity, in my opinion. He is an Oscar winner, but I still don’t think he gets a ton of recognition. He’s one of the best method actors I’ve ever seen, which is why I think he’d be able to dive into a role like this and switch it up as the show goes on. As for the appearance, David has a skinny frame, similar to Brody’s.
I think I’ve gotten down to the most important characters I would like to see cast in the film. There are others, such as Riley, Maria, Robert, Sarah, and so on. But, there’s a chance a lot of the roles in this series will more than likely be taken up by unknown actors and actresses.
What do you guys think? Agree or disagree? If you disagree, who would you like to see play the characters? Feel free to discuss down below!