A little over a month ago, we got an update on how things were going with Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin's upcoming HBO series adaptation of the video game franchise The Last of Us when Druckmann signaled he was done with his directing work on the project and was heading home. Now it would appear we have some casting news to announce that hasn't been made public from what we can tell, and we have actor Murray Bartlett (Frank). Speaking with The Guardian about his turn as luxury Hawaii spa resort manager Armond in HBO's The White Lotus, Bartlett was asked how filming was going. "It's co-created by Craig Mazin, who did Chernobyl. The scripts he's written blew my head off. It's an epic show, but beautifully human and intimate. We filmed it in Calgary," Bartlett responded- before the reveal: "A lot of my scenes are with Nick Offerman. Playing off him was awesome." So will we be getting confirmation of Nick Offerman (Pam & Tommy) soon? And who will he be playing? Joining Bartlett and (apparently) Offerman are Bella Ramsey (Ellie), Pedro Pascal (Joel), Gabriel Luna (Tommy, Joel's younger brother), Nico Parker (Sarah), Merle Dandridge (resistance leader Marlene), Jeffrey Pierce (Perry), Con O'Neil (Bill), and Anna Torv (Tess).
Based on the critically acclaimed video game developed by Naughty Dog exclusively for the PlayStation platforms, the story takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel (Pascal), a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie (Ramsey), a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone to the Fireflies, a cure-searching organization. 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.
Ramsey's Ellie is a 14-year-old who has never known anything but a ravaged planet, struggling to balance her instinct for anger and defiance with her need for connection and belonging … as well as the newfound reality that she may be the key to saving the world. Luna's Tommy is Joel's younger brother- a formal soldier who still holds on to his sense of idealism and hope for a better world. Dandridge's Marlene is the head of the Fireflies, a resistance movement struggling for freedom against an oppressive military regime, while Parker has been tapped for the role of Joel's daughter, Sarah. Pierce is set to recur as Perry, a rebel in a quarantine zone. Bartlett has been cast as Frank and O'Neil as Bill, two post-pandemic survivalists living alone in their own isolated town. Torv's Tess is a smuggler and hardened survivor in a post-pandemic world who (at least in the video game) works with Joel to survive and smuggle weapons in & out of Boston, and accompanies Joel on the mission to smuggle Ellie to the Fireflies.
Written by Mazin and Druckmann with Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole, Closeness) directing the pilot, the series is set to be executive produced by Carolyn Strauss (Chernobyl, Game of Thrones), Naughty Dog's Evan Wells, PlayStation Productions' Asad Qizilbash & Carter Swan, Mazin, and Druckmann. The series is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, with PlayStation Productions, Word Games, and Naughty Dog producing. Academy Award nominee Jasmila Žbanić (Quo vadis, Aida) and Ali Abbasi (Border) join pilot-director Balagov in the director's chair.