Casting Call: The Last of Us
Well it looks like Sony is at it again with a film adaptation of one of the PS3’s most popular video game franchises after the latest news that they’re registering movie names for “The Last of Us”. Like Uncharted, this game was developed by the Naughty Dog company and is one of the highest reviewed games in the history of the console’s lifespan. If you haven’t played it and own a PS3 than I URGE YOU TO DO SO but here’s a basic synopsis: It centers on survivors of the US years after an “infected outbreak” ravages the landscape. Our hero Joel is tasked with taking our other hero Ellie to the last group of scientists amongst the survivors. These men and women are working on a cure for this uncontrollable outbreak and it looks like Ellie might be humanity’s last hope. You see, she’s been bitten before but is the only one who has survived the process and wasn’t turned into a flesh-eating rage machine so her blood is valuable and must be studied. The story itself chooses not to focus on the “zombies” but on the characters, the humanization of their decisions and the hopelessness surrounding individual actions and emotions in a time of dire consequences. It’s a brilliantly told and emotionally gripping gaming experience that ranks right up there with some of the best I’ve ever played, so like Uncharted I’m weary of seeing them bring this story to another medium. However if they must do this than this is the cast I’d like to see:
Hailee Steinfeld as Ellie
The painfully obvious choice people seem to lean to for looks only is Ellen Page but she’s over double Ellie’s age and wouldn’t be able to play that part in my opinion. Enter Steinfeld who might be a tad older but is experienced and well-versed enough to give us a great centerpiece of the story.
Joel Edgerton as Joel
No, I did not choose Joel Edgerton because he shares an identical name to the character but yes I did choose him because I can admit that I’m a fan of his résumé. This was the hardest one for me to cast because I think Edgerton is a bit too young for this character and I was leaning towards Josh Brolin before I ultimately decided on Joel. His performances in Warrior, Zero Dark Thirty and most recently (and his best IMO) Wish You Were Here were proof enough to me that he could channel the emotional journey of this character on screen.
Carrie-Anne Moss as Tess
I think Moss is the right age and brings the appropriate skill set to someone as feisty, stubborn and well-handled as Tess. She’s given some really good supporting roles over the years and morphed into more of a small-scale actress that would be really solid for this character.
Josh Holloway as Tommy
Seriously what the hell is taking so long for Hollywood to give LOST’s Josh Holloway some juicy roles? The guy might never be a leading man but he has the charm, screen presence and wit to chew up scenery and bring something memorable to a smaller performance. When I first saw Tommy this was the only thing I could imagine and I think I could buy him and Edgerton as brothers.
John Hawkes as David
Hawkes busted out of his character actor role when he was cast in Winter’s Bone, awarding him both an Oscar nomination and a handful of more projects. He’s someone who can say so much without uttering a word and I think that underplayed wrongdoing would be perfect for David in The Last of Us.
Nicole Beharie as Marlene
Beharie is more known now after her breakout role in Fox’s Sleepy Hollow TV series and it could be the perfect platform to make the jump into mainstream movies. Marlene is driven, set in her ideals and won’t back down from anyone which immediately drew me to Beharie and her steadfast persona.
Jerome Flynn as Robert
Alright so Robert here doesn’t have much of a role in The Last of Us that spans anything outside of a glorified cameo but this was too perfect not to include it. The second he popped up on my TV I was reminded of Game of Thrones’ Jeromy Flynn and after browsing the internet I wasn’t the only one who saw the connection.
So that’s my wishlist for the principle characters of the story and if Hollywood is indeed hellbent on adapting this than I’d like to see those actors given a chance to shine. However, like Uncharted this project could be derailed before it really begins and to be completely honest I don’t think that’s the worst thing that could happen, because topping the game is an IMPOSSIBLE task.