HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation is set to feature a familiar face: Bella Ramsey, the actor who played the young ruler Lyanna Mormont on Game of Thrones, will star as Ellie in the upcoming TV series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Hours after we initially published this post, it was confirmed that The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal will play the role of Joel.
The prestige TV take on Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us game has been in the works for a while and has already accrued some impressive talent, with Chernobyl’s Craig Mazon attached as a writer and Kantemir Balagov, the director of the indie WWII drama Beanpole, directing the pilot. Neil Druckmann, the creative director behind the game series and co-writer of the television series, confirmed Ellie’s casting on Twitter.
While Ellie isn’t the character you play in the first The Last of Us game, she’s arguably the star of the entire series, as the entire plot of the game’s zombie apocalypse revolves around her and her relationship with her surrogate father Joel. She’s also the main playable character in its sequel, The Last of Us Part II, and the side story The Last of Us: Left Behind. In Game of Thrones, Ramsey handily stole scenes full of brutish men and should fit right in with whoever gets pulled to play the gruff, frequently angry Joel.
There’s still no release date for the show, but The Hollywood Reporter did share an extra tidbit about casting: Mahershala Ali, star of Moonlight and the yet to be released Blade reboot, was considering the role of Joel, but “a deal never came to fruition.”
We’ve since learned that Pedro Pascal will be playing Joel instead.
Update, 11:53PM ET: Added that Pedro Pascal has been confirmed to play the role of Joel.