While there is little known about the cast of HBO's upcoming TV adaptation of hit video game, The Last of Us, we know that Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal will be playing the lead roles of Ellie and Joel. However, according to a new claim by insider DanielRPK, there was another major star offered the role first, Matthew McConaughey. Sadly for his fans, the actor wasn't interested in the part, leading to The Mandalorian's Pascal taking the lead instead.
When the cast announcement was originally made, the news received a mixed response from fans. Some were pleased with the appointment of Pascal, who has seen his profile elevated hugely by his Star Wars franchise involvement, while others were less convinced. Whether knowing that Pascal was not first in line for the role will make his appointment seem better or worse is something that will likely divide opinion again; leading some to wonder what might have been if Matthew McConaughey took the role, when the series finally arrives.
While the rumor is just that, and as with many of these whispers, may or may not be the case, there is also a suggestion that new Blade actor Mahershala Ali was also in the running for the Joel role ahead of Pascal. However, this does not mean that fans of the games will not be getting a less superior final product; as many of the greatest pieces of casting have not always gone to the original plan. Tom Selleck being originally considered as Indiana Jones being one example, or Eric Stoltz actually beginning filming of Back To The Future before original choice, Michael J Fox, was able to take on the role.
The Last of Us is based on the popular video game series, which sees players taking on the character of Joel, a smuggler who has to help teenager, Ellie, make her way across a post-apocalyptic version of America while fighting off hostile and violent humans and cannibal monsters. The video game was released back in 2013 and became a popular hit on the PlayStation 3 and later as a remastered edition on the PlayStation 4. Additional add on content was later made available before a sequel arrived in 2020.
The TV show was developed by original game writer, Neil Druckmann, with Craig Mazin, whose previous work includes Chernobyl, The Hangover Part II and The Huntsman. Along with the two leads, the other known cast members are Merle Dandrige, reprising the role of Marlene that she played in the original game and its sequel, and Gabriel Luna, who has appeared in Wicked City and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as 2019's Terminator sequel Dark Fate.
HBO has yet to announce any release date for the series, but it is currently in pre-production with filming expected to begin in July. Based on recent filming schedules, it will be unlikely that we will see the final product anytime earlier than late 2022, but we could get a first insight of filming in the coming months as shooting gets underway.