With viewers eagerly anticipating Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin's upcoming HBO series adaptation of the video game franchise The Last of Us (which may see the light of day in 2022), series star Pedro Pascal (Joel) is offering a brief update on how things are going along with reassurance to video games fans about what they can expect. Speaking with German magazine Neelix in an "11 Question" style (and based on our online translator), Pascal was asked about the current project he was working on which was the perfect segue to discuss the HBO series. "Shooting has already started and it's so much fun and something completely new for me and a great opportunity to show my fans a different side to me," Pascal responded.
And as for those heavy expectations that fans have for the series to be faithful to the video games, Pascal doesn't see any need for concern. "I think the adaption is more than capable of competing with the game. I have absolutely no doubts that we will not disappoint fans and new viewers," he added. Joining Pascal 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), Anna Torv (Tess), Nick Offerman (Bill), Murray Bartlett (Frank), and Storm Reid (Riley Abel).
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 traverse across the U.S. & 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 Offerman 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. Reid's Abel is an orphaned girl growing up in a post-apocalyptic Boston (in the video game DLC "The Last of Us: Left Behind," the Yaani Kang-voiced Riley accompanies her best friend Ellie before Joel enters the scene
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.