The Last Of Us TV Series - Cast, Release Date, Story
We've not heard the "last" of The Last of Us, with Naughty Dog's record-breaking gaming franchise getting a new lease of life on the small screen. While there were once plans to bring the story to life on the silver screen, HBO is working on a live-action miniseries from Game Director Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl's Craig Mazin.
There's a boom of video game adaptations, with The Last of Us following in the footsteps of the long-awaited Uncharted movie, Eli Roth's Borderlands, and a Resident Evil reboot. There are also plans for Ghost of Tsushima and God of War to make the leap off the PlayStation, but in the meantime, all eyes are on The Last of Us.
With an all-star cast and the potential to span a multi-season order, here's everything you need to know about The Last of Us cast, release date, story, and more.
Who is in The Last of Us cast?
Taking the leads of Mazin's The Last of Us series, it's two Game of Thrones alumni that have landed these lucrative roles. Known for playing Oberyn Martell and Lyanna Mormont in HBO's fantasy epic, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are portraying Joel and Ellie.
For those who've played the games (we guess that's why you're here), Pascal will play Joel. The hardened survivor is the male lead of The Last of Us, and if the series follows Naughty Dog's world, he will become Ellie's adoptive father. Apparently, True Detective and upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe star Mahershala Ali was considered for the role, but a deal was never reached.
The leading lady is Bella Ramsey. Known for playing the no-nonsense Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones, this fiery streak is sure to come into play as Ellie. With Ellie growing up in the time jump between games, we're hoping Ramsey will be signed onto a potential multi-season arc so the show can grow up with her.
Elsewhere, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actor Gabriel Luna has joined the ensemble as Tommy. As Joel's brother, Tommy becomes a grizzled hero of the story as the games progress. We can't wait to see Luna sporting an eyepatch. Finally, the cast is rounded off with Merle Dandridge reprising her role as Marlene - the antagonistic leader of the Fireflies.
At the time of writing, The Last of Us is also casting for Joel's sister-in-law (Maria) and his post-apocalyptic partner (Tess) from the first game. Importantly, the network is also looking to cast Riley, who is integral to the story, as Ellie's girlfriend in the Left Behind DLC.
The Last of Us series story
Even though there isn't much to go off in terms of where the story will take us, expect the writers to use the first game as a loose framework for Season 1. It's safe to assume the world will still be ravaged by the Cordyceps fungus, and humanity will become mindless zombies possessed by mould.
The show's official synopsis reads, "Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, 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". It all sounds pretty standard in terms of how 2013's The Last of Us played out.
Unlike The Last of Us quickly skipping ahead with a time jump, there's a chance for the series to explore more about the outbreak of the virus. If this is the case, Ellie might start things a little older than she is in the game. Then again, the main plot of the first game only really got going after a 20-year time jump.
Importantly, The Last of Us has confirmed it'll be keeping its LGBTQ+ credentials from the games. Returning to the previous mention of Riley, the first DLC confirmed that Ellie is a lesbian. Discussing how this could affect the series, Mazin said, "you have my word", when one fan asked him not to erase Ellie's LGBTQ+ backstory.
Just like the games, there are sure to be some shocking revelations and twists along the way, and if you've played 2019's The Last of Us Part II, a certain golf club scene has the potential to be the show's very own GoT Red Wedding. Apart from that, expect The Last of Us to be a bloody outing that will lean into HBO's adult viewership.
The Last of Us series release date
The Last of Us looks like it could be HBO's next big hit. For a network that's already an icon in its own right, thanks to The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Big Little Lies, Chernobyl, and more, that's quite a challenge. In terms of the show's release date, The Last of Us is presumably still a way off.
In 2014, Screen Gems was supposed to be working on a movie adaptation, but over the years, it lost several directors and slipped into development hell. The Last of Us TV series was officially announced as being in the "planning stages" in March 2020.
Filming is set to start on July 5 in Calgary, Canada, with production scheduled to last until June 8, 2022. Looking at other HBO shows, Watchmen was announced in 2018 and aired a year later, while Big Little Lies was first announced in May 2015 and didn't air until February 2017. An 18-month widow sounds like a logical turnaround, however, we have had the COVID-19 pandemic to deal with.
With this in mind, The Last of Us probably won't premiere until at least 2023. It will air on HBO in the USA, but we're yet to find out who'll host the epic ensemble in the UK.
That's all for now on The Last of Us series, but we'll keep this page updated when we know more.
Images via Sony Interactive Entertainment