HBO's The Last Of Us Reveals New Pic And Casting News That Video Game Fans Will Absolutely Love

Joel and Ellie in The Last Of Us.
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

HBO is bringing the iconic video game world of The Last of Us to live-action television with Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in the lead roles, and a new photo combined with the latest news proves that there’s a lot to look forward to for video game fans as well as newcomers. An official first look at what’s on the way with The Last of Us reveals Pascal’s Joel and Ramsey’s Ellie in what looks like a tense situation, and it turns out that some video game actors will have live-action parts to play. 

What The First Look At The Last Of Us Reveals

The Last of Us is set in a dystopian era two decades after the destruction of modern civilization, with hardened survivor Joel (Pedro Pascal) tasked with smuggling 14-year-old Ellie (Bella Ramsey) out of a quarantine zone to start a journey that will take them across the country. Their survival depends on each other, and the first official photo from the HBO series reveals a look at them in what appears to be a dangerous situation. Check it out:

The Last of Us first look Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie

(Image credit: HBO)

The photo is quite dark, but there are some details that are possible to pick up if you look closely enough. Joel and Ellie appear to be crouched in front of a glass case of some sort, and there appears to be an American flag hanging behind them. There seems to be a mannequin wearing what looks like some kind of colonial-era jacket above and behind Ellie’s shoulder on the right. Above and behind Joel appears to be what I think looks more like a stone bust than another mannequin, all of which leads me to think that their journey has taken them to a museum or historical site of some sort. 

Not to get heavily into spoilers from the video games, but a museum – or at least location with some patriotic decorations – would make sense as a stop on Joel and Ellie’s journey in the first season. Video game director Neil Druckmann (who also serves as an executive producer on the HBO show) previewed some deviations in the plot from the game to the show, but the series will adapt the first game. And speaking of the games…

The Good News For Video Game Fans

Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker – better known to The Last of Us game fans as the voices of Ellie and Joel – have been cast in the HBO series. With Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal playing their game roles for the live-action show, Johnson and Baker will play different characters. There are no details just yet about what kinds of characters they’ll play, or if those characters will be adapted from the video games or newcomers to the show. 

No matter who they play and how much screen time they get, their appearances in the show should make for a fun Easter egg for fans of the games. They join a cast comprised of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. veteran Diego Luna, former Parks and Rec star Nick Offerman, former Fringe leading lady Anna Torv, and more in addition to Ramsey and Pascal. 

Unfortunately, HBO has not yet released a premiere date for The Last of Us, but an official first look of the stars as Joel and Ellie at least bodes well for more details potentially being released in the not-too-distant future. This video game adaptation marks the second time that Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey worked on the same show, as both appeared on HBO’s Game of Thrones (which you can find streaming with an HBO Max subscription). 

Their characters never shared any scenes, but it’s a fun bit of trivia ahead of the upcoming series that should feature a whole lot of them together. Plus, it could be HBO’s biggest show since Game of Thrones!  As we wait for The Last of Us to arrive on HBO, be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule for some viewing options to tide you over.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).