Pedro Pascal, lately best known as the gunslinging space-dad main character of The Mandalorian, has been cast as another of the great modern adoptive father figures – Joel from The Last Of Us.
Who else is involved?
In this, he will rejoin his fellow Game Of Thrones alumnus Bella Ramsey, who is set to play Ellie. Although the two never shared the screen on Thrones, the show was a breakout moment for both. It was shortly after his appearance on Thrones that Pascal got a leading role in Netflix’s Narcos, and Ramsey, who was praised as “an incredible new child actor“, went on to lead the cast of the 2017 adaptation of Jill Murphy’s children’s book series The Worst Witch.
As announced last year, Chernobyl director Johan Renck is attached to direct “at least the pilot”, as well as serving as executive producer alongside Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin and Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann, who directed the original game. And the gloomy world of Chernobyl would seem to be an excellent taster for the overgrown post-apocalypse setting of The Last Of Us.
And will the fans take this well?
The two The Last Of Us protagonists, thanks to the game’s story-driven nature, are beloved by the fanbase far beyond what you might expect of their relatively generic archetypes – hence the outright fury which greeted The Last Of Us II, for what was seen as a betrayal of the characters. Early story leaks resulted in a fairly savage review-bombing, so anyone doing anything with the franchise will be bearing that unfortunate possibility in mind.
Nonetheless, Druckmann’s involvement hopefully hints that the spirit of the original game will remain in place in the adaptation, rather than being jettisoned for something more Hollywood-friendly. The involvement of Pascal and Ramsey may well represent all the crowd-pleasing that’s necessary.
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