HBO's The Last of Us Casts Pedro Pascal as Joel

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HBO's adaptation of The Last of Us is starting to take shape.

Pedro Pascal has landed the lead role of Joel in the adaptation of the Naughty Dog videogame franchise.

Deadline first reported the exciting news that dropped just hours after it was announced that fellow Game of Thrones actress Bella Ramsey had landed the role of Ellie.

Pedro Pascal

Pascal currently stars on The Mandalorian, the smash hit Disney+ series. A third season has been ordered, but Deadline notes that The Last of Us is in first position.

Pascal most recently appeared on Wonder Woman: 1984, but has other TV credits that include Narcos and The Good Wife.

His breakthrough role was as Oberyn Martell on Game of Thrones Season 4.

Pascal Promotes Mandalorian

The Last of Us comes from Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and the game's writer and creative director, Neil Druckmann.

It will be produced by HBO and Sony Pictures TV along with PlayStation Productions, Word Games, and game developer Naughty Dog.

"Craig and Neil are visionaries in a league of their own," said HBO Programming executive vp Francesca Orsi when HBO went straight to series on the project.

"With them at the helm alongside the incomparable Carolyn Strauss, this series is sure to resonate with both die-hard fans of The Last of Us games and newcomers to this genre-defining saga."

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"We're delighted to partner with Naughty Dog, Word Games, Sony and PlayStation to adapt this epic, powerfully immersive story."

The TV adaptation is set 20 years after the destruction of modern civilization. It follows Joel, a hardened survivor of the apocalypse, who's hired to smuggle a 14-year-old girl named Ellie out of an oppressive quarantine zone.

The seemingly small job becomes a brutal journey as they come to depend on each other for survival. The plot appears to be the same as the original game, which should provide a wealth of source material.

Ready for a Fight - The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 1

The franchise expanded this year with the debut of The Last of Us Part II, which broke sales records. "We're thrilled to be working with HBO and this fantastic creative team to bring ‘The Last of Us’ series to life," said Sony Pictures TV Studios president Jeff Frost and PlayStation Productions head Asad Qizilbash.

"PlayStation's innovative storytelling and ingenuity is a natural complement to SPT’s creative focus. Our collaboration is a great example of our 'One Sony' philosophy at work. We look forward to developing even more iconic game IP in the future."

Mazin and Druckmann executive produce The Last of Us with Carolyn Strauss (Chernobyl, Game of Thrones), Naughty Dog's Evan Wells, and PlayStation Productions' Qizilbash and Carter Swan. Johan Renck (Chernobyl) is attached to direct the pilot.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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