The Last of Us showrunner confirms he had talks with Matthew McConaughey about playing Joel Miller

The Last of Us co-showrunner Craig Mazin confirms that he had talks with Matthew McConaughey about playing Joel Miller.

Matthew McConaughey, The Last of Us

It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Pedro Pascal playing Joel Miller in HBO’s live-action adaptation of The Last of Us, but one of the early names up for the role was Matthew McConaughey.

While speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, The Last of Us co-showrunner Craig Mazin confirmed that he did have talks with Matthew McConaughey about starring in the series. “I did talk to Matthew. I can’t say that it was a series [of conversations]. It was more of a, ‘Hey, here’s something to talk about,’” Mazin said. “Pedro was on our list from the start. We were told he was unavailable, and then as we were floundering about a little bit, I got a call from his agent who said, ‘You know, he actually might be available.’

Although I’m sure Matthew McConaughey would have done a great job with Joel Miller, I think Pedro Pascal was the far better pick. Another actor who was rumoured to be up for the role was Mahershala Ali, but Craig Mazin said that he never had talks with him.

The Last of Us takes place “20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed by a deadly virus. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, 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.

The second season of The Last of Us isn’t expected to air until 2025, but of course, that all depends on how long the WGA strike lasts. Bella Ramsey, who plays Ellie on the series, has teased that the new season will be “darker,” adding, “It’s really a story about revenge, and a continuation from the first season about the dangers of unconditional love.

Matthew McConaughey has several TV projects on the horizon, including taking on the leading role in the next incarnation of Yellowstone. He’s also set to reunite with Woody Harrelson for Brother From Another Mother, a half-hour comedy series developed by David West Read (The Big Door Prize) The series will find the actors playing fictional versions of themselves, but their friendship will be put to the test “when their combined families attempt to live together on Matthew’s ranch in Texas.” The Apple TV+ logline describes the ten-episode series as “a heartfelt odd couple love story revolving around the strange and beautiful bond between Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

Could you see Matthew McConaughey as Joel Miller in The Last of Us?

Source: Happy Sad Confused (via Entertainment Weekly)

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.