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‘Game of Thrones’ duo cast as Joel and Ellie in HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’

HBO’s adaptation of the hugely successful The Last of Us games has cast Game of Thrones alumni Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in lead roles.

The Last of Us crew have teamed up with HBO to try and lift the curse of video game adaptations. I’m sure I don’t need to go too far into the sordid history of failed adaptations to make my point, but allow me just a few words: Warcraft. Tomb Raider. Super Mario Bros.

The bigger they are the harder they fall. However, HBO has shown every intention to get The Last of Us right.

the last of us joel ellie

The good news is that a lot of what made The Last of Us such an engrossing experience will translate well to the silver screen. It already has expertly drawn characters and a deliberate, well-paced plot. Not to mention a world that is full of terrifying and unforgettable encounters that already have a certain cinematic flair.

HBO has demonstrated an understanding that the creatives that contributed to the success of the video games should be utilised, not cast out. Writer and creative director of the games, Neil Druckmann, is on board as an executive producer. There also appears to be a focus on selecting a production team with a successful track record, with Craig Mazin of Chernobyl acclaim being signed up to direct.

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are known entities to HBO, with both having appeared in Game of Thrones. Pascal played the sexually charged, charismatic Prince Oberyn to such acclaim that many fans are still traumatised by his untimely exit. He played Oberon with a dangerous, mysterious rough streak; a characteristic that will likely make him a good match for the lead role of Joel in The Last of Us adaptation.

Bella Ramsey has been selected for the other critical role of Ellie. Her work in Game of Thrones as the witty and brave Lyanna Mormont also showed off a natural charm that won over far more fans than her small role probably warranted. In theory, it is another great fit, and will do little to dampen the increasing clamour surrounding the adaptation.

Currently there is no release date in sight, and with the pandemic keeping most productions moving at a glacial pace, we best not get ahead of ourselves. However, at least we can be thankful our horrible virus hasn’t proven quite as deadly as the fungus that ruined the world of The Last of Us. Small blessings and all that business.