HBO’s The Last of Us has shared a series of major casting announcements, confirming that several characters from the original game will appear in the series, but there could be some new faces as well.
The show’s 10-episode first season is said to adapt 2013’s The Last of Us, but executive producer Neil Druckmann has previously revealed that some episodes will “deviate significantly” from the events of the acclaimed game. However, he and showrunner Craig Mazin assured fans that the story would only “improve” the previous material rather than “undo” it.
With filming now fully underway, much of the series’ cast has been revealed, confirming the live-action debuts of many of the game’s beloved characters. There are also a few original characters created just for the series, including including someone by the name of “Mr. Adler” played by Friday Night Lights actor Brad Leland, who has become the latest addition to the cast at the time of writing.
Read on for our full rundown of who appears in The Last of Us – and don’t forget to bookmark the page, as we’ll update this article with all the latest casting news as we go.
Pedro Pascal as Joël
Pedro Pascal will play the series’ main male protagonist, Joel Miller, who will be seen breaking free from an oppressive quarantine zone and traveling through post-apocalyptic America. Pascal rose to prominence as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones. His other notable TV credits include Javier Peña on Narcos and Din Djarin on The Mandalorian.
Bella Ramsey as Ellie
Pascal will headline the series with fellow Game of Thrones alumna Bella Ramsey, who will play Ellie, a young orphan immune to the Earth-ravaging virus and must be delivered to a group called the Fireflies for her they create a cure. Ramsey is best known for her role as young leader Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones.
Gabriel Luna as Tommy
It was announced in April that Gabriel Luna had joined the cast as Joel’s brother Tommy, a former soldier clinging to his idealism in the post-apocalyptic landscape. The Last of Us will mark Luna’s return to HBO following his role in Season 2 of True Detective, although he is perhaps best known for playing Robbie Reyes aka Ghost Rider in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.
Merle Dandridge as Marlene
Merle Dandridge, who voiced Marlene both in The Last of Us and in a flashback in The Last of Us Part II, reprise her role as the leader of the Fireflies in the live-action series. His previous TV credits include The Night Shift, Greenleaf, and Murphy Brown. She also played FBI agent Kim Hammond in HBO Max’s Kaley Cuoco series, The Flight Attendant.
Nico Parker as Sarah
In June, Nico Parker became the newest member to join the cast of The Last of Us series. She will play Joel’s daughter, Sarah, following her landmark role as Milly Farrier in Tim Burton’s reinvention of Dumbo in 2019. She also starred alongside Naomie Harris and Jude Law in the HBO 2020 miniseries The Third Day, featuring three of the series’ six episodes.
Jeffrey Pierce as Perry
Jeffrey Pierce, who voiced Tommy in both Naughty Dog games, is making a comeback in the franchise as a different character. He will play a character named Perry, described as a rebel living in one of the country’s quarantine zones. In addition to lending his voice to video game characters, Pierce has starred in many other series such as Bosch and Castle Rock.
Con O’Neill as Bill
In addition to Pierce, it has been announced that Con O’Neill will be guest star in Bill’s role on the series. Those who have played The Last of Us will know that Bill is the man Joel and Ellie visit in the trapped town of Lincoln shortly after leaving Boston. In the upcoming adaptation, the Chernobyl star is set to play a post-pandemic survivalist.
Murray Bartlett as Frank
Murray Bartlett was cast to play Frank, Bill’s partner who was briefly mentioned as a deceased character in the game. The series may recount the events that led to Frank’s death or perhaps Frank will survive and live out his days with Bill. In recent years, Bartlett has starred in HBO’s The White Lotus, Netflix’s Tales of the City, and Marvel’s Iron Fist.
Anna Torv as Tess
Fringe star Anna Torv has been cast to play Tess in a recurring role on the series. In the game, Tess worked with Joel to bring weapons in and out of Boston and helped Joel take Ellie to the Fireflies. Interestingly, Tess’ appearance in the game didn’t extend to the entire game, so it’s possible that her role was expanded for the series.
Brad Leland as Mr. Adler
Friday Night Lights actor Brad Leland has also quietly joined the cast of The Last of Us. A subreddit for everything related to the series posted an interview found on A-List Productions’ YouTube channel in which Leland has revealed that he had recently traveled to Canada to shoot some scenes of the series. IMDB listed him as playing a character called “Mr. Adler”.
Check back here for all of the latest casting updates for HBO’s The Last of Us.
Adele Ankers is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.