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The Mandalorian Star Joins HBO's The Last Of Us Series

When HBO announced it was developing a series based on Naughty Dog's critically acclaimed PlayStation title The Last of Us, audiences were tentatively excited about the project. Since video game adaptations are notoriously difficult to bring to life in a way that honors the original title while also being a good film (or series) in general, there's a lot of pressure to get this right. The Last of Us is no exception — and especially so because it's an extremely emotional adventure through a post-apocalyptic landscape, which has been ravaged by a vicious strain of the Cordyceps fungus.

Joel Miller, a grieving father, has to protect a young girl called Ellie while they travel across the United States in hopes of using Ellie's immunity to the infection to produce a cure. Yes, the two main Last of Us games released thus far use the perfect blend of stealth-horror and action-adventure in their gameplay, but the emotional story is what really sinks its hooks into players. 

HBO recently announced that Game of Thrones star Bella Ramsey will star as Ellie, after impressing audiences as the fierce leader of Bear Island, Lyanna Mormont. But the question briefly still remained: Who will partner up with her as Joel?

As confirmed by Deadline the very same day Ramsey's casting was announced, The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal (who was also in Game of Thrones, as Prince Oberyn) will step into Joel's shoes for The Last of Us. The outlet also noted that the actor recently became available to star in a new series alongside his work on The Mandalorian and was met with a number of offers before choosing to star in the upcoming HBO show.

Why Pedro Pascal is perfect for The Last of Us

The Mandalorian star is the perfect choice for the role, as we've already seen him do something similar to what Joel does with Ellie: In the Disney+ Star Wars series, Pascal's character Mando (real name: Din Djarin) ferries Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) across the galaxy in search of another Jedi. Pascal has shown that he can master the hardened lone wolf who's forced to deal with and protect a younger companion, while occasionally fending off threats from all angles.

Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin has partnered with Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann (who wrote and co-directed the original game) to bring The Last of Us to the small screen. And anyone who's seen Chernobyl will understand why bringing Mazin on board is a great move from HBO. Its harrowing depiction of real-world events made for one of the best shows in the last decade. In a previous interview with the BBC, Mazin explained that the Last of Us series will be a more definitive version of the story seen in the original 2013 game, saying, "The changes that we're making are designed to fill things out and expand — not to undo, but rather to enhance." 

It seems like production will begin in the near future, since Mazin revealed back in March 2020 that the team was waiting until The Last of Us Part II had been finished before making a start on the HBO series. The show will also reportedly cover the revenge-driven events of the second game, eventually. For now though, we'll just have to enjoy all the Mandalorian-Last of Us crossover memes that Twitter can provide.