HBO’s screen adaptation of The Last of Us is continuing its casting spree, and we now know who will play Joel’s daughter.
Deadline announced that Nico Parker, who’s best known to date for starring in Disney’s live-action Dumbo, will be playing the small but crucial role of the child of Pedro Pascal, who was already cast as the lead, Joel. In addition to Pascal, other cast members include Lady Mormont herself, Bella Ramsey, who will play young Ellie, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Gabriel Luna, who will be Joel’s brother, Tommy.
Joel’s Daughter Has A Big Impact in the Video Game
(Spoiler warning! Below carries minor spoilers for the game and likely the show.)
In the video game, Joel had a 12-year-old daughter, Sarah. Before there a fungus outbreak overtook humanity, Sarah and Joel lived in Austin, Texas. Once the outbreak happened and society collapsed, Sarah, Joel and Tommy try to flee to safety. Before they can do so, however, Sarah is shot by a soldier and dies. Her death, almost 20 years ago, still haunts Joel.
Before joining The Last of Us, Parker is best known for playing Colin Farrell’s daughter in Dumbo. She also starred in the HBO mini-series, The Third Day. With the cast rounded out, it’s likely the project will soon enter production, if it hasn’t already.
From Video Game to the Small Screen (With an Attempted Big Screen Detour)
The Last of Us started out in 2013 as an immensely popular video game, created by Neil Druckmann. It takes place 20 years after the collapse of civilization, where a virulent fungus has turned most people into zombie-like monsters called the Infected. Those who are fungus-free are bunkered down in militarized Quarantine Zones. That’s where we meet Joel (Pascal), a grizzled survivor who’s hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie (Ramsey) out. Things don’t go so well from there, and the two must travel across an Infected-full United States and try to survive.
Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin along with Druckmann are leading the HBO series adaptation. Kantemir Balagov is also directing the pilot episode.
This isn’t the first attempt to adapt The Last of Us for the screen. Back in 2014, production companies Screen Gems and Sony worked with Druckmann to develop a feature film. That project fizzled out, however, as — according to Druckmann — studio execs wanted bigger action scenes, something that Druckmann thought didn’t suit the story.
HBO came in after that project died and turned it into a series rather than a feature film. The events in the adaptation will follow the events of the first game, even though there is also The Last of Us, Part II game out there as well.
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