HBO Was In Talks With An Oscar Winner To Star In ‘The Last of Us’ Prior To Casting Pedro Pascal

pedro pascal in the last of us



It’s been a long and winding road to get The Last Of Us onto television screens, with the beloved adaptation taking on multiple forms — an animated series, a movie, and eventually a TV show — before ultimately landing on its current one.

As such, the search for the cast, particularly the lead role of Joel Miller, has been extensive, as there was even a time when two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali was apparently in talks to play the character.

During a recent interview, Jeffrey Pierce — who voiced Joel’s brother Tommy in the PlayStation game and played Perry in the HBO series — revealed that the network was eyeing Ali for the role of Miller prior to casting Pascal.

So… I think initially they had talked to Mahershala Ali about playing Joel, which is an obvious cue that I’m not gonna play Tommy… And when they cast Pedro [Pascal], I knew like, yeah, that was certainly not going to happen regardless, I’m older than Pedro Pascal. So, I was not under harboring any illusions about that, for sure. [via The Direct]

While Ali would have obviously been great, Pascal has obviously been a coup for HBO as he’s not only an excellent actor but — courtesy of his role in The Mandalorian — is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood these days.

Episode eight of The Last of Us, the penultimate of the first season, will hit HBO on Friday, March 5, followed by the season one finale on March 12.

In addition to Pascal as Joel Miller, The Last of Us — which has already been renewed for season two at HBO — stars Bella Ramsey as Ellie Williams, Gabriel Luna as Tommy Miller, Merle Dandridge as Marlene, and various guest stars such as Murray Bartlett, Nick Offerman, and Melanie Lynskey.

RELATED: Pedro Pascal Couldn’t Stop Crying While Filming This Scene In ‘The Last Of Us’

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Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him