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Cast This: Joel and Ellie of The Last of Us

06.03.2016

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It was over two years ago when it was announced that Sam Raimi would be producing the movie adaptation of Naughty Dog’s critically-acclaimed action-adventure survival horror video game, The Last Of Us. Since then, we haven’t heard much about the project except that it’s not moving very fast. Regardless, we can certainly do the work for them when it comes to casting the two main leads: Joel – a ruthless survivor of a fungal spore-based infection that turns humans into zombie-like crazies and Ellie – a tough yet occasionally delicate 14-year-old filled with intelligence and world-weariness. 

the last of us videogame playstation movie

The story follows Joel, a single father who must travel across a post-apocalyptic America in 2033 to protect a teenage girl named Ellie. He must deliver her to a resistance group called the Fireflies, who believe she may be vital to curing the infection that has destroyed the planet. It’s certainly one of the best games I’ve ever played and is already considered a masterpiece by most of the gaming world. If you have played the game you know it manages to do something very few games can do and that’s combine a strong emotional narrative with suspenseful and frantic gameplay. Joel and Ellie struck a chord of empathy with gamers due to their human qualities and relationship; the actors for the leads would need to be people we can and will care about by the time the credits role.

Casting Joel and Ellie will make or break the film. So who could undertake these demanding roles? Let’s take a look at Ellie first. The perfect actress for the part would have to look around 14-16 and have an emotional range of someone who’s been through hell and returned with curiosity, strength, and a lot of wit. We heard at one point that Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams would most likely take on the role of Ellie; Williams confirmed that she talked about the movie executives and that she is just waiting for an offer. The announcement of that casting choice had people at Comic-Con cheering pretty loud. I think Williams would be a great choice; she has the look and based on what we’ve seen on GoT, she’s got the attitude and range to pull it off.

If age wasn't an issue, I think most players would agree that Ellen Page came to mind while playing The Last of Us. The likeness is uncanny right down to the voice; I’m sure that’s not a coincidence. My next pick however would be Elle Fanning who with her own reserved style brings a lot to the table for a character like Ellie. She’s proven she can do emotional and action packed scenes; she’s grown up and would deliver on the complexity of Ellie’s character, I’m sure of it.

the last of us casting ellie

Then we have my final pick, Kaitlyn Dever. Not a big star or household name by any means but as a young up and coming actress, she’s been impressive to watch. With works like SHORT TERM 12 on her resume, she’s proven she’s more than just a sitcom face. Other actresses I’ve heard mentioned for the role include Hailee Steinfeld, Chloe Grace Moretz and Ariel Winter. I can’t imagine them casting a huge name to this role but we will have to wait and see what the studio decides to do with the material.

As for the role of Joel, past casting rumors have pointed to names like Dylan McDermott, Gerard Butler and Chris Pratt. For me, I’m all about Josh Brolin for this one. He’s got the look and the talent to pull it off. He might just have to come off as more vulnerable than he has been in the last decade or so. Look no further than NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN to see what Brolin can offer fans.

the last of us casting joel

Next up would be Hugh Jackman; his ability to go mild-mannered to intense is always a pleasure to watch. He can be intense, and the character of Joel has that going for him. My last choice is a bit older than most might appreciate for the role, but Viggo Mortensen should be in everything shouldn’t he? THE ROAD, much like the game, follows a man with a young child through a post-apocalyptic world and Mortensen played it perfectly. There’s always been a quiet sadness to the actor that would be more than welcome for this role, let’s not give up on this idea just yet.

Fans of the game will be more than a little excited to see what the movie has to offer, but for now, who do you think could fill the shoes of Joel and Ellie?

the last of us movie videogame

RESULTS - CAST THIS: The Riddler 1. Bill Hader 2. Jeff Goldblum 3. Sam Rockwell

cast this the riddler picks

Extra Tidbit: Movies that influenced the game are said to include The Road and No Country For Old Men.
Source: JoBlo.com

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2:35PM on 06/05/2016
Can't see Ellie as anyone but Ellen Page.
Can't see Ellie as anyone but Ellen Page.
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12:44PM on 06/05/2016
A few years ago I'd have said Molly Quinn from "Castle" for Ellie but she's like 23 now, so I'd suggest a relative unknown teen. Or maybe Kerris Dorsey from "Ray Donovan"? Brolin seems spot-on for Joel, although I think Jon Hamm would also do well in the role.
A few years ago I'd have said Molly Quinn from "Castle" for Ellie but she's like 23 now, so I'd suggest a relative unknown teen. Or maybe Kerris Dorsey from "Ray Donovan"? Brolin seems spot-on for Joel, although I think Jon Hamm would also do well in the role.
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10:23AM on 06/05/2016
I'm sorry, but this is Jackman's role. If he wants it, everyone else should step aside. As for Elle, go with an unknown.
I'm sorry, but this is Jackman's role. If he wants it, everyone else should step aside. As for Elle, go with an unknown.
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2:11PM on 06/04/2016
Rufus Sewell and Chloe Grace Moretz
Rufus Sewell and Chloe Grace Moretz
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1:37PM on 06/04/2016
Mackenzie Foy is 15 and Bill Burr (although looking nothing like him) would make that character interesting for me.
Mackenzie Foy is 15 and Bill Burr (although looking nothing like him) would make that character interesting for me.
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3:27AM on 06/04/2016
Ellen Page & Gerard Butler
Ellen Page & Gerard Butler
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2:40AM on 06/04/2016

Ok

Jackman as Joel for sure, man look at him as old logan on the spyshot !! And for Ellie I don't know.... naughty dog game are now masterpiece.... man have you played uncharted 4 !?!? Whaaaat an ending after 10 years and 50h of story/gameplay, men it left me empty and sad, rare are the movie that make such impact on me..!
Jackman as Joel for sure, man look at him as old logan on the spyshot !! And for Ellie I don't know.... naughty dog game are now masterpiece.... man have you played uncharted 4 !?!? Whaaaat an ending after 10 years and 50h of story/gameplay, men it left me empty and sad, rare are the movie that make such impact on me..!
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2:02AM on 06/04/2016
Joel: Anson Mount
Ellie: someone actually appropriate (14, not 29 like Ellen Page)
Joel: Anson Mount
Ellie: someone actually appropriate (14, not 29 like Ellen Page)
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12:47AM on 06/04/2016
Josh Brolin and Ellen Page would be good. I actually read somewhere that Ellen either sued or was thinking about suing the makers of the game, because the characters likeness and voice were so close to hers and she received no credit for it. Of course this could be a coincidence, but I don't know. I know Ellen is older than the character, but she could easily pass for a younger girl.
Josh Brolin and Ellen Page would be good. I actually read somewhere that Ellen either sued or was thinking about suing the makers of the game, because the characters likeness and voice were so close to hers and she received no credit for it. Of course this could be a coincidence, but I don't know. I know Ellen is older than the character, but she could easily pass for a younger girl.
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+0
12:05AM on 06/04/2016
Ideally: Dylan McDermott and Ellen Page.

Ideally: Dylan McDermott and Ellen Page.

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10:43PM on 06/03/2016

Absolutely Josh Brolin...but.....

You people do know that Ellie, in the game, is only 14. So cast age accordingly. Angourie Rice from The Nice Guys, she's around the same age and has the talent to boot.
You people do know that Ellie, in the game, is only 14. So cast age accordingly. Angourie Rice from The Nice Guys, she's around the same age and has the talent to boot.
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2:06PM on 06/03/2016

Josh Brolin and Maisiewilliamswouldbe my dream team

Although,I'll also throw in a vote for Elle Fanning.

Next week, maybe have us cast James Bond (I know we've already done that, but it looks like it's actually happening now and besides how can you get tired of casting that one?) or the Captain Marvel director, since both seem to be pretty timely.
Although,I'll also throw in a vote for Elle Fanning.

Next week, maybe have us cast James Bond (I know we've already done that, but it looks like it's actually happening now and besides how can you get tired of casting that one?) or the Captain Marvel director, since both seem to be pretty timely.
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1:51PM on 06/03/2016
The girl looks exactly like Ellen Page, so obviously they should cast a 10 year old boy for the role.
The girl looks exactly like Ellen Page, so obviously they should cast a 10 year old boy for the role.
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1:26PM on 06/03/2016
I'm tired of this column just being about video games I've never played. Either no more video game adaptation castings or just do this column more frequently. Here are some suggestions: Captain Marvel, Gorilla Grodd, James Bond, or Mr. Sinister.
I'm tired of this column just being about video games I've never played. Either no more video game adaptation castings or just do this column more frequently. Here are some suggestions: Captain Marvel, Gorilla Grodd, James Bond, or Mr. Sinister.
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2:14PM on 06/03/2016
Didn't we cast the Riddler last time? Heck, out of the last five columns only one other one's been for a video game character. I do wish the column would be consistently weekly, though.
Didn't we cast the Riddler last time? Heck, out of the last five columns only one other one's been for a video game character. I do wish the column would be consistently weekly, though.
12:49AM on 06/04/2016
I suggest you play the game then. It really is a great game!
I suggest you play the game then. It really is a great game!
12:58PM on 06/03/2016
I think Nikolaj Coster-Waldau would make an awesome Joel. Just beard him up, give him a shotgun. Done. As for Ellie, I think this production really needs to dig deep and find someone perfect for the role, whether it be doing casting calls in small towns or whatnot. Would love to see Uma Thurman or someone play Tess. John Hawkes as David...
I think Nikolaj Coster-Waldau would make an awesome Joel. Just beard him up, give him a shotgun. Done. As for Ellie, I think this production really needs to dig deep and find someone perfect for the role, whether it be doing casting calls in small towns or whatnot. Would love to see Uma Thurman or someone play Tess. John Hawkes as David...
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12:32PM on 06/03/2016
Joel =Jim caviezel
Joel =Jim caviezel
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11:41AM on 06/03/2016
Honestly I'm not pretty sure that I want a masterpiece like The Last Of Us turning into a Hollywood movie.But well if it has to be made I'd like to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing Joel.For Ellie the main problem is that most of the actresses like Maisie Williams or Elle Fanning don't look like 14yo girls.So I'd let the studio choose a perfect unknown with the right age or the right looks.But if I really have to cast an actress,I'do go with Madison Davenport.
Honestly I'm not pretty sure that I want a masterpiece like The Last Of Us turning into a Hollywood movie.But well if it has to be made I'd like to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing Joel.For Ellie the main problem is that most of the actresses like Maisie Williams or Elle Fanning don't look like 14yo girls.So I'd let the studio choose a perfect unknown with the right age or the right looks.But if I really have to cast an actress,I'do go with Madison Davenport.
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11:19AM on 06/03/2016

Nobody

This is my favourite game of all time. I have never played anything that is so emotionally heavy that I need to take such long breaks from playing such a short amount of it. That being said, I don't want to see it as a movie. I don't want to have that chance that the movie is not as good as the game, which it won't be since a movie won't be 14 hours long.

But if it does go through as a game, I would like to see Tom Hardy as Joel (I think, but really have no clue) and maybe the girl that
This is my favourite game of all time. I have never played anything that is so emotionally heavy that I need to take such long breaks from playing such a short amount of it. That being said, I don't want to see it as a movie. I don't want to have that chance that the movie is not as good as the game, which it won't be since a movie won't be 14 hours long.

But if it does go through as a game, I would like to see Tom Hardy as Joel (I think, but really have no clue) and maybe the girl that plays Catwoman in Gotham.... Camren Bicondova. But I would also think Maisie would be good. (Even though I've never watched game of thrones, she just looks like she could handle it)

But again, don't make this movie. Go the way of Uncharted or Halo and just disappear. Please.
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11:00AM on 06/03/2016
Hugh Jackman for Joel, and Kaitlyn Dever for Ellie. Glad to see Dever received recognition on this site considering how talented and underrated she is; she was brilliant on Justfied along with everyone else on that show.
Hugh Jackman for Joel, and Kaitlyn Dever for Ellie. Glad to see Dever received recognition on this site considering how talented and underrated she is; she was brilliant on Justfied along with everyone else on that show.
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10:47AM on 06/03/2016
Josh Brolin or Hugh Jackman would be ideal casting for Joel. Ellie could be played by Elle Fanning or Daisy Ridley.
Josh Brolin or Hugh Jackman would be ideal casting for Joel. Ellie could be played by Elle Fanning or Daisy Ridley.
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10:45AM on 06/03/2016
Joel: Hugh Jackman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Josh Brolin, Matt McConnaughey ,and George Clooney (channeling The American vibe)
Ellie: Maisie Williams
Joel: Hugh Jackman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Josh Brolin, Matt McConnaughey ,and George Clooney (channeling The American vibe)
Ellie: Maisie Williams
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