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This is a slightly updated version of our original The Last Of Us Dream Cast to reflect the fact that Joel and Ellie have now, of course, been cast in HBO's The Last Of Us. You can find the original article here.
After months of speculation and dream casting conversations, Sony and Naughty Dog completely defied all expectations by casting Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie in HBO's The Last Of Us. Having peeked around the internet, I can say with some confidence that nobody - and I mean nobody - asked for Pedro or Bella in these roles... but that's what makes it so brilliant! Who wants to hire two great actors and have them give us a straight up copy of what Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson did back in 2013? Not this guy.
Having established that these dream casting articles never amount to anything and are about as accurate blindfolded cat, here's an updated version of my original The Last Of Us dream cast list, complete with some of the actors I'd love to see join Pedro and Bella in the upcoming show.
There's been a lot of love for the idea of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Joel, but I'm team Jackman all the way as far as that particular bit of casting is concerned. With that said, Coster-Waldau is a phenomenal actor, and I'd love to see him take on the role of Joel's brother Tommy. I mean, the thought of Jackman and Coster-Waldau together? Double bubble.
Marlene might not actually feature that heavily in The Last Of Us, but her role in the story is undeniably important. I'd hope that the HBO series fleshes out her and the Fireflies a little more, and if that happens I can think of nobody better than Zoe Saldana to take on the role.
Authoritative, tough, but quite clearly exhausted from fighting for a dying world, I would love to see Saldana as Marlene crossing the country with her few remaining soldiers at the same time Joel and Ellie are having their own gritty adventures.
I don't know if this is cheating, but my top pick for Joel's smuggling partner Tess would have to be Annie Wersching. Why would that be cheating? Because Wersching played the part of Tess in the game itself... but what a performance. I don't know how long it's been since you've played The Last Of Us, but go back and pay attention to Wersching's immaculate performance in the earlier parts of game. She nails that character, and I can't see anyone else doing it.
Okay, I'm cheating... again. The always-impressive Brandon Scott played the heartbreaking Henry in the game, but his brief appearance was so impactful that I just can't see anyone else in the role. It also helps that Scott has proven himself to be an outstanding performer in numerous TV shows and movies since The Last Of Us, including 13 Reasons Why and Dead To Me.
Oh Sam. Poor Sam. If you've played the game, you'll know that Sam isn't around too long. As such, we'd need a seriously impressive young actor that can really hook you in... all so their ultimate fate feels that much more devastating when it comes around.
To that end, I suggest Madison Curry, who you might remember from Us. An engaging presence for such a young'un, Curry has proven that she can act her heart out in the middle of some seriously intense moments - a valuable skill, and a must for this part. I know what you're all thinking, of course: She's a lot younger than "game" Sam. Don't worry though, I reckon that'll work to the character's advantage.
David Tennant might still be best known to the world as the Tenth Doctor, but the man has proven he's more than capable of switching from charming to truly horrific monster in the blink of an eye. If you've watched Netflix's Jessica Jones, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
In The Last Of Us, David is this truly awful killer who's done some unspeakable things... yet we can, in some awful way, almost empathise with him. It's a complex role, but Tennant would be a fine fit for the job.