'The Last of Us': Release date, plot, cast and all you need to know about HBO's post-apocalyptic drama based on the hit game

'The Last of Us': Release date, plot, cast and all you need to know about HBO's post-apocalyptic drama based on the hit game
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey to play Joel and Ellie in HBO's 'The Last of Us' (Getty Images)

Actor Pedro Pascal, known for starring in the Disney+ show 'The Mandalorian', will be playing the role of Joel in HBO's upcoming TV series 'The Last of Us'.

There were several reports earlier claiming that 46-year-old actor Mahershala Ali has been offered the lead of Joel, the survivor in post-apocalyptic America and the playable protagonist in the video game. However, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the actor will not be making an appearance in the upcoming series. 



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If Ali had gotten the role of Joel, it would have been the second time that the actor collaborated with HBO for a show. In 2019, he appeared in Season 3 of the HBO series ‘True Detective’ and was nominated for an Emmy in the outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie category. 

Originally released in 2013, the game is set in a post-apocalyptic United States years after a zombie-like virus has ravaged the world. The players are able to play as Joel, a smuggler who is given the task to escort a teenage girl named Ellie across the country.


Release date

There is no official release date announced by HBO. The production of the show was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and might arrive on the cable network later this year.

A scene from the game 'The Last of Us' (Naughty Dog)


The show will follow the events of the original game and take place in a post-apocalyptic America. The official synopsis reads: "Set 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed and centers on the relationship between Joel, a smuggler in this new world, and Ellie, a teenager who may be key to a cure for a deadly pandemic."

"Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle the 14-year-old girl out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey as they traverse the US and depend on each other for survival," the synopsis adds.



There were rumors that Oscar-winning actor might end up playing the protagonist in the show but that's apparently not the case. A report in The Hollywood Reporter suggested that Ali did circle the roles but the negotiations did not work out. 

Born in Oakland, California, Mahershala Ali followed the footsteps of his late father Phillip Gilmore and became an actor. He started his professional acting career with the TV series ‘Crossing Jordan’ in 2001. From 2001 to 2008, he made appearances in many projects such as ‘NYPD Blue’, ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’, ‘The 4400’, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ and ‘Predators’.

However, his moment of glory came in 2012 when he was cast as Kofi in the critically-acclaimed movie ‘The Place Beyond The Pines’. Ali was known professionally by his full name, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, from 2001 until 2012. He decided to use a shorter version of his first name after being told that his full name was too long to fit on the poster for the film. The actor received praise for his performance and became a household name.


Mahershala Ali attends the HBO's Post Emmy Awards Reception at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 22, 2019, in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

In 2016, Ali received universal acclaim for his portrayal of a drug dealer Juan in the movie ‘Moonlight’ and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the movie, becoming the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award. He received his second Oscar for his portrayal of Don Shirley in the movie ‘Green Book’.



Bella Ramsey

Bella Ramsey attends WE Day UK 2020 at The SSE Arena, Wembley on March 04, 2020 in London, England. (Getty Images)

Bella Ramsay, who played the role of fierce Lyanna Mormont in HBO’s blockbuster hit series ‘Game of Thrones’, will be playing the role of Ellie in the upcoming show. Bella will play a 14-year-old girl who has always seen Earth as a ravaged planet and finds it difficult to balance her anger and defiance with her need for connection and belonging.

Ramsey’s role in HBO’s 'Game of Thrones' took her popularity to a whole new level and made her an internet sensation. The role marked her acting debut.



The show’s pilot episode will be directed by Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov. He is known for directing the 2019 movie ‘Beanpole’ which earned rave reviews from the critics as well as the audience. 

Craig Mazin accepts the "Outstanding Writing Original Long Form" award for "Chernobyl" onstage during the 2020 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 01, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California (Getty Images)

Apart from Bagalov, Craig Mazin, the creator of HBO’s acclaimed series ‘Chernobyl’, is also attached to the project. He will be penning the script and executive producing the show with Neil Druckmann, the writer and creative director of the game.


As of now, there is no official trailer available for the show. However, HBO announced the show with a teaser on its official Twitter account.



Where to Watch

The series will exclusively premiere on HBO. There is no official release date yet.

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