The Last of Us TV show release date: Joel and Ellie casting, plus latest news

Can we handle the emotional trauma of this story again?

last of us

Few game adaptations have as much anticipation around them as The Last of Us, a series that will take the 2013 Playstation classic from Naughty Dog studios and move it to the small screen for HBO.

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The game, that put players through the emotional wringer with its dark and distressing story, has seemed like the natural fit for an adaptation since it came out and, finally, the wheels are moving on the project and we are now finding out a lot more about it.

But who has joined the cast so far, who is rumoured, and when are we likely to get to watch it? Here’s all you need to know.

What is The Last of Us about?

Set in a post-apocalyptic world when humans have been infected by a mutated fungus and turned into savage, zombie-like, creatures, The Last of Us follows Joel who, after suffering a devastating loss at the start of the apocalypse, is tasked with escorting a young girl named Ellie across the United States. As they make their way on their journey, they soon learn that it will not be an easy trip, and they will start to depend on each other more than they thought possible.

The Last of Us TV show cast

last of us cast

Taking on the lead roles of Joel and Ellie is a daunting task with so many heavily invested in these characters already, but we have a feeling that the team behind The Last of Us series may have nailed the casting.

Playing Joel will be The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal. There were several names rumoured for Joel including his Game of Thrones co-star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Mahershala Ali (Green Book), but it is Pascal that has nabbed the starring role.

As for who will be the Ellie to his Joel, that will be Bella Ramsey, another Thrones cast member who memorably played Lyanna Mormont in the later seasons.

Beanpole director Kantemir Balagov is on board to direct the pilot, while the show will be written by Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and Neil Druckmann, writer and creative director of the game.

The Last of Us TV show release date

While there is an outside chance that The Last of Us could debut in 2021, and it would be very late into the year if so, the smart money would put it down as a 2022 premiere. This will likely be a very visual effects-heavy show and as such, we imagine a lot of post-production work will need to be done once filming (that has not yet started) wraps. The first quarter of 2022 would be the best guess at this stage – and that is the year that fellow zombie saga The Walking Dead wraps its run too.

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To find out what to watch this week, check out our TV Guide.