HBO has found the leads for its upcoming adaptation of The Last of Us, as Game of Thrones alumni Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey will portray Joel and Ellie.
Deadline Hollywood broke the news on both castings yesterday, which were then verified by Naughty Dog co-president and The Last of Us co-director Neil Druckmann. The series will adapt the events of the game, where in Joel must lead Ellie, the only known human with immunity to the mutated virus which brought down human civilization, through a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Ramsey was a standout guest star on Game of Thrones as Lyanna Mormont, the defiant young leader of a northern house who stole the screen with her sass and stoic look. After appearing in its final four seasons, she voiced the title character in Netflix’s animated series Hilda and starred in The Worst Witch. She also joined HBO’s His Dark Materials last year.
Pascal is currently one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, starring in The Mandalorian, Wonder Woman 1984, and We Can Be Heroes last year. He made his big break as the charismatic Red Viper, Oberyn Martell, in season three of Game of Thrones, and went on to roles in Narcos, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and Triple Frontier.
The characters’ original voice actors celebrated the casting on social media. Ashley Johnson tweeted “All hail the Lady of Bear Island” (in reference to Ramsey’s Game of Thrones character) while Troy Baker wrote, “F*ck. Yes. Cannot wait to see what I learn about Joel from Pedro. Buckle up, y’all. We goin for a ride.”
An adaptation of The Last of Us has been in development since 2014, when Sony Pictures’ studio Screen Gems would produce a film written by Druckmann, but it languished in development. Last March HBO announced that it had taken up the project and would adapt it into a live-action series. The production is a collaboration between HBO, Sony Pictures, Word Games, and game developer Naughty Dog. Druckmann is still attached to write alongside Craig Malzin (Chernobyl). They will also executive produce alongside Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones), Evan Wells from Naughty Dog, and Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan from PlayStation Productions.
There is no word at this time on when production will begin, or when the series is intended to premiere.