We’ve been hotly anticipating any information on the upcoming live-action adaptation of The Last Of Us. HBO will adapt the acclaimed video game series into a series alongside its original creators. Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckman and his writing team will be working on the series with Chernobyl‘s Craig Mazin. Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov joined the production to direct the pilot in January, so we expected some casting rumors in the coming weeks. Originally, Johan Renck was going to direct it but had to drop out due to scheduling conflict. Just a month after they got their director, it seems they are already getting their casting together. Illuminerdi revealed that HBO offered the role of Joel to Mahershala Ali.
It looks like while the series will stick to the original game’s storyline, they are flexible when it comes to the casting. Ali is a powerhouse in the industry right now, so he would be a fantastic find for the franchise. His character will remain mostly the same, as he’ll face the same dramatic backstory from the original game. Joel’s morality has faded, but a sign of hope in the form of a 13-year-old Ellie, who is the key to solving the fungus-infected future.
Illumerndi also points out that they’ve offered the role to Matthew McConaughey, who turned it down. It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll accept the role, as he will join the upcoming MCU adaptation of Blade. There is a chance that the potential casting of Ellie is also in the works. This casting rumor might hint at the show potentially taking a unique direction to distinguish itself from the original game.