BySimon Rune Knudsen, writer at
A tryhard person enthusiastic about dad rock and weird beers.
Simon Rune Knudsen

A movie adaptation of The Last of Us has been on the table for years, and we can only hope that screenwriter Neil Druckmann will be able to get the project off the ground in the foreseeable future. Because if there's one video game that deserves an adaptation it's The Last of Us.

We need a successful video game adaptation to make the world forget the failures of Assassin's Creed, Warcraft and every other video game movie recently. To redeem the reputation of the stories we love. And is our best bet for a plot that can actually work on the big screen.

Sadly, the last time we heard anything about the project it had apparently gone into development hell. Which doesn't bode well for Joel and Ellie fans around the globe. But hey, this is not the time to lose hope. At least the world hasn't been hit by a fungi-zombie apocalypse...yet.

'The Last Of Us' Movie Cast Of Our Dreams

[Credit: Naughty Dog]
[Credit: Naughty Dog]

Watching Logan, James Mangold's reinvention of the superhero movie, that starred Hugh Jackman as Wolverine for the very last time rekindled my faith in a The Last of Us movie. I, along wit the rest of the interenet, basically had a revelation. There's only one right career choice for Jackman now he's done playing a frenzied mutant. He has to play Joel, the deeply melancholic protagonist of The Last of Us.

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So please Naughty Dog, studios, Sam Raimi and all the movie people involved: Make this happen. We need Jackman Joel to save video game movies.

Hugh Jackman won't be able to do it alone of course. A generally strong cast is needed. With that said, let's take a look at some of other potential casting choices for The Last Us.

Joel Jackman Is The Only Obvious Choice

[Credit: 20th Century Fox / Naughty Dog]
[Credit: 20th Century Fox / Naughty Dog]

I had considered Hugh Jackman as Joel before but actually used to prefer Josh Brolin for the role. Though the gritty performance delivered in Logan completely changed my mind and made it obvious that Jackman is the right choice. The old, sad Wolverine is basically Joel with longer sideburns and an adamantium skeleton.

With Jackman no longer being Wolverine, his career path will hopefully take him Naughty Dog's way.

  • Runner-ups: Josh Brolin (very talented with a super melancholic face), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (people hate Neegan too much for him to play a good guy right now) or Gerard Butler (too much Olympus Has Fallen lately)

Maisie Williams Can Capture The Complexity Of Ellie

[Credit: Phase 4 Films / Naughty Dog]
[Credit: Phase 4 Films / Naughty Dog]

Ellie is probably the most difficult casting of the movie since she's such complex character. She's tough as nails on the outside but basically a scared child deep within. And she's hilariously sarcastic in her everyday remarks.

Anyone playing her would have to be extremely talented for her age. Maisie Williams has already proven herself consistently in seven seasons of Game of Thrones, and she's only 20 years old. They might not look like each other, but Arya Stark and Ellie are surprisingly similar, both sarcastic and deadly cynics with tragic backgrounds.

  • Runner-ups: Elle Fanning (a tad too innocent looking, but the talent is definitely there) or Ellen Page (Ellie was basically based on her without her permission, so the history is weird. She's too old as well)

Molly Parker Is The Calculating Tess

[Credit: Netflix / Naughty Dog]
[Credit: Netflix / Naughty Dog]

In House of Cards, Molly Parker's character seamlessly transitioned from being cynical and calculating to vulnerable and full of doubt. It was an astonishing performance that would fit right in with the role of Tess.

  • Runner-ups: Lena Headey (like Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Neegan, people hate Cersei Lannister too much these days) or Carla Gugino (slightly lacking in the grit department. She looks so friendly all the time)

Jason Clarke Epitomises The Defensive Younger Brother

[Credit: Paramount Pictures / Naughty Dog]
[Credit: Paramount Pictures / Naughty Dog]

Jason Clarke is quite familiar with the post-apocalyptic setting having played major roles in both Terminator: Genesys and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He's just great at depicting that certain maddening melancholy people get when they've seen the world end.

On top of that, he bears some slight resemblance to Hugh Jackman, both being sturdy guys with solid beard growth and at times unkempt hair. The perfect choice for Joel's brother Tommy.

  • Runner ups: Charlie Hunnam (a tad too polished) or Josh Holloway (great as Sawyer in Lost. Has yet to be great in anything else)

Naomie Harris Is The Resistance Leader We Need

[Credit: Sony Pictures / Naughty Dog]
[Credit: Sony Pictures / Naughty Dog]

With her role in Moonlight Naomie Harris showed of the diversity needed to portray the deceptive and intelligent Firefly resistance leader Marlene. Thanks to Danny Boyle's grueling 28 Days Later, she's no stranger to apocalyptic worlds. I could definitely see her portraying the-end-justifies-the-means character who keeps her agenda secret until the very end.

  • Runner-ups: Gina Torres (almost first choice just because she's in the Firefly TV show) or Rosario Dawson (a tad too young and lacks the post-apocalypse feel)

Danny McBride Excels As The Mad, Resourceful Hermit

[Credit: HBO / Naughty Dog]
[Credit: HBO / Naughty Dog]

Some might find Danny McBride's long history of comedies a bit unfitting for the The Last of Us, but with his upcoming role in Alien: Covenant it looks like the actor's career is taking a more serious turn.

The portrayal of Bill, the half-crazy trap-laying hermit who has stocked up on resources since the world went bottoms up, would benefit from McBride's talents as a comedian, as Bill's actually a hilarious guy in a sarcastic and incredibly pessimistic body.

  • Runner-ups: W. Earl Brown (untried and might lack the comic timing. The look is just right though) or Brendan Gleeson (a tad too old to be fighting off zombies)

Donald Glover Can Portray Henry's Sad Demise

[Credit: 20th Century Fox / Naughty Dog]
[Credit: 20th Century Fox / Naughty Dog]

Death is an integral part of the fungi-zombie controlled world, but the demise of Henry and his younger brother Sam is extraordinarily tragic. It takes some serious acting chops to pull of this brief but tone-defining encounter, making sure it hits as hard as it does in the game.

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino would be perfect for this. With his roles in Community, Atlanta (which he also directed) and The Martian, he has proven himself an extremely creative and capable performer.

  • Runner-ups: Jason Mitchell (he still too Eazy-E. Rap music died in the apocalypse) or Micheal B. Jordan (Too full of life. We can't bear to watch him die in this way)

John Hawkes Is Your Cannibalistic Leader

[Heel & Toe Films / Naughty Dog]
[Heel & Toe Films / Naughty Dog]

To play David, the most manipulative son of a bitch in The Last of Us (and there's a lot of them), takes a special kind of person. John Hawkes is exactly that kind of person as he has proved in the HBO series Deadwood. Not to mention he shares an uncanny resemblance to David, who's the leader of a cannibalistic tribe of crazy people that develop a taste for Ellie.

  • Runner-ups: Kevin Bacon (can definitely portray mad people, but he's too much of a household name) or Sean Penn (it's always hit or miss with Sean Penn. Can't take the chance this time)

How does your dream cast for The Last of Us look? Let us know in the comments!


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