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Nick Offerman's Casting In The Last Of Us Raises Some Questions About Bill

"The Last of Us" is set to be one of HBO's biggest shows when it premieres in 2023. Based on the hit video game from developer Naughty Dog, the series will chart the journey of Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) through a post-apocalyptic landscape filled with sound-sensitive plant-human hybrids known as clickers.

Though the trailer revealed plenty of Joel and Ellie so far, we've also caught glimpses of some of the secondary characters who they meet along the way in "The Last of Us." Among them are Gabriel Luna as Joel's brother Tommy, Nico Parker as his daughter, Sarah, and Storm Reid as Ellie's early love interest, Riley.

However, one of the first actors who fans noticed in the teaser for "The Last of Us" is Nick Offerman. Despite being commonly known for his comedic chops — most notably in the role of Ron Swanson– Offerman has been nailing dramatic roles for years, and his subtle talents will likely lend a much more nuanced portrayal to this version of Bill compared to the one that appears in the games.

HBO has an opportunity to make Bill a better character

When players first meet Bill in "The Last of Us," he's a gruff, curmudgeonly loner who also happens to be gay. While some appreciated the understated way that Bill's sexuality was communicated to the audience, many others have noted that LGBTQ+ representation has come a long way since the game was released in 2013, and these critics think the HBO series could flesh out the character far more substantially — most notably by allowing Bill's sexuality to be communicated more openly, and with more depth, as opposed to the dated representation he receives in the game (via Inverse). As Instinct Magazine argued, "In the original 'The Last of Us' game, which came out in 2013, Bill was made into somewhat of a joke [...] With the reveal that Nick Offerman is playing the minor character, there's chance we'll get some vindication for Bill. Bill is a skilled survivor, something we're SURE Offerman can pull off. But on top of that, Offerman is a skilled actor who cares about his characters."

"The Last of Us" already looks like it's going that route: Frank, Bill's former lover, will be portrayed by Murray Bartlett ("The White Lotus"). This means that viewers will actually get to see Frank alive in this new take on the story, even if it's only in flashbacks.

Offerman has previously made it clear, in shows like "Devs," that he has the talent to go deep for his performances, a skill that a character like Bill could really benefit from. In what ways Offerman will offer more dimensions to Bill in "The Last of Us" remains to be seen, but viewers will no doubt be watching in droves to see how the long-simmering adaptation of the hit game series pans out for HBO.