The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal just got cast in The Last of Us HBO TV show

The Last of Us
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

HBO's The Last of Us TV show has just cast its leads, and you're in for a treat.

Pedro Pascal, who rose to fame in HBO's Game of Thrones, and stayed there through appearances in the Netflix series Narcos and as the helmeted protagonist of The Mandalorian on Disney Plus, is taking on another lead role in one of HBO's upcoming tentpole shows – the TV adaptation of The Last of Us video game.

Pascal will be playing Joel, the grizzled father figure that (no real spoilers, don't worry) takes the young girl Ellie under his protection in the first The Last of Us game.

It's a role that was given real gravitas by voice actor Troy Baker in the games by developer Naughty Dog, but Pascal definitely seems like a capable choice to take on the part of Joel.

But that's not all: we now have confirmation that Bella Ramsey, who acted alongside Pascal in Game of Thrones (as Lyanna Mormont), will be playing the teenage Ellie.

The pair of them no doubt beat a lot of keen actors for the roles: we know that Oscar winner Mahershala Ali was tipped as a possible Joel, while both Maisie Williams (of Game of Thrones fame) and Uncharted 4 voice actor Kaitlyn Dever voiced interest in the role of Ellie.

The key creative team of The Last of Us HBO show has been confirmed for a while now, with Chernobyl screenwriter Craig Mazin (also working on the upcoming Borderlands movie) and executive producer Carolyn Strauss (also Chernobyl, Game of Thrones) bringing a level of prestige drama to the show.

Series creator Neil Druckmann is onboard to ensure The Last of Us TV adaptation stays true to the games, too, and acting as both a writer and executive producer alongside Mazin and Strauss.

Anyone who's played The Last of Us would tell you it's perhaps the closest a video game has come to feeling like an HBO miniseries, so it feels like a marriage made in heaven.

What to expect

The Last of Us TV show follows the same beats as the first game. The synopsis states that “the story takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.”

The Last of Us TV show will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max, and is sure to be a gritty, violent and emotionally impactful affair – if the game is anything to go by.

The adaptation of Naughty Dog's game joins a growing list, with Halo and Assassin's Creed both in line to receive TV shows. Whether they'll be any good, though, remains to be seen. 

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.