The Last of Us: Nick Offerman joins cast of HBO series

UPDATE: Variety reports that Nick Offerman replaced Con O’Neill in the role of Bill after O’Neill had to depart The Last of Us due to a scheduling conflict. Now it all makes sense.

The original article on Offerman’s casting follows:

We’ve previously heard that Con O’Neill and Murray Bartlett will be playing the duo of Bill and Frank in The Last of Us, the HBO series based on the popular video game of the same title. Bill and Frank are “two post-pandemic survivalists living alone in their own isolated town”, so it sounds like they’re going to have a lot of screen time together. Surprisingly, when Bartlett was interviewed by The Guardian recently, he didn’t mention O’Neill. Instead, he said most of his scenes are with an actor we hadn’t even heard was in the cast: Nick Offerman!

When The Guardian asked him about The Last of Us, Bartlett said,

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. A lot of my scenes are with Nick Offerman. Playing off him was awesome.”

Details on the character Offerman is playing were not revealed. A character actor with over 130 screen acting credits to his name, Offerman achieved comedy icon status with his performance as Ron Swanson on the sitcom Parks and Recreation.

The The Last of Us video game’s story is set

years after a fungal plague wiped out much of humanity, transforming most into vicious zombie-like monsters, the story follows Joel, who’s living in a militarized quarantine zone. He has a close relationship with Tess, who operates in the black market of this community. Together, they’ve become known by the local criminal underworld for their ruthlessness. On a mission to reclaim their stolen guns, they run into the leader of the Fireflies, a resistance group, who tasks them with smuggling a young girl named Ellie out of the zone. This mission soon becomes much more than they were prepared for.

The cast of HBO’s The Last of Us includes Pedro Pascal as Joel, who is “tormented by past trauma and failure. He must trek across a pandemic-ravaged America, all the while protecting a girl who represents the last hope of humanity”; Bella Ramsey as Ellie, “a 14-year-old orphan who has never known anything but a ravaged planet and who struggles 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”; Anna Torv as Tess, “a smuggler and hardened survivor in a post-pandemic world”; Gabriel Luna as Joel’s brother Tommy, “a former soldier who hasn’t lost his sense of idealism and hope for a better world”; Merle Dandridge as Marlene, “the head of the Fireflies, a resistance movement struggling for freedom against an oppressive military regime”; Nico Parker as Joel’s daughter Sarah; Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, “a rebel in a quarantine zone”; Con O’Neill and Murray Bartlett as Bill and Frank, “two post-pandemic survivalists living alone in their own isolated town”; and apparently Nick Offerman.

The directors of the show’s episodes include Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole), Jasmila Zbanic (Quo vadis, Aida), Craig Mazin (The Specials), Peter Hoar (Doctor Who), and Neil Druckmann, creative director of the video game. Ali Abbasi (Border) had been announced as a director on the show at one point, but it’s not clear if he’s still involved.

The Last of Us is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and game developer Naughty Dog. Druckmann serves as executive producer alongside Carolyn Strauss, Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan of PlayStation Productions, and Craig Mazin.

Source: The Guardian

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.