Gearing up to start filming next month, HBO’s upcoming adaptation of The Last of Us is set to bring Joel and Ellie’s story to the small screen. However, despite Pedro Pascal being cast in the lead role, there’s more to the story than the network jumping at the opportunity to work with The Mandalorian star. In fact, according to information posted by insider DanielRPK, HBO reached out to mega-star Matthew McConaughey about playing Joel.
Before Pascal signed on to the project, reports claimed Blade star Mahershala Ali was circling the role, and while he was offered the part, he decided to pass on it. Now, it’s unclear whether HBO went to McConaughey before or after Ali declined, but the reason for the network’s interest is clear.
In The Last of Us series, Joel hails from Texas, where he lives with his daughter Sarah when a mutant fungus begins to ravage the United States. McConaughey, of course, is a native of the Lone Star State and attended the University of Texas before beginning his acting career in the early ’90s.
The rest is history, as they say, and Pascal would go on to nab the role, but the production casting such a wide net is positive news for a series that hopes to faithfully adapt one of the most influential games in recent years. RPK goes on to reveal that The Last of Us‘ first season will consist of eleven episodes and that Pascal has signed on for the entirety of Season 1 and a few episodes of Season 2, seemingly confirming a follow-up will deal with the events of the game’s sequel that was released in 2020.
What do you think about HBO offering Joel to Matthew McConaughey? Do you prefer Pedro Pascal in the lead role? Let us know in the comments below!
Starring Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna and Merle Dandridge, The Last of Us begins filming next month.
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