The Last of Us is one of the most anticipated TV shows this year. The series based on the zombie survival game of the same name has been subjected to a lot of hype from all around. Along with the hype, there’s also a steady amount of skepticism in the air as the history of video game adaptations hasn’t been so smooth in the recent past. But on the other hand, this also led to a tiresome making process for the series as the makers didn’t want to disappoint anyone at all.
While the inclusion of Neil Druckmann in The Last of Us adaptation relieved some fans, the casting of Bella Ramsey as Ellie raised quite a storm on the Internet. Now an interesting interview states that HBO also considered Maisie Williams and Kaitlyn Dever for the role of the female protagonist.
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Who was the first choice for Ellie in The Last of Us adaptation?
One of the key factors of the upcoming HBO show is that it roped in Neil Druckmann, the creator of the original game to also run the series along with the Chernobyl director Craig Mazin. Recently when both of them appeared in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, many interesting details about the series were revealed.
If the creators are to be believed then they wanted highly to stay true to the source material, unlike several former adaptations that attracted wide criticism. The casting of The Last of Us has been one of the most challenging tasks. While Pedro Pascal‘s selection as Joel was not pretty much of a difficult decision, the role of Ellie troubled the creators hard. Reportedly, a dozen names were considered before everyone on the head table agreed to bring in the Lyanna Mormont fame.
This list of considerations also had Ramsey’s Game of Thrones co-star Maisie Williams and Dopesick fame Kaitlyn Dever among popular choices for the role of Ellie. But eventually, both of these stars were considered during a very early phase and by the time the actual development started, it was too late for the former castings. They were already too old to be cast in the role of a teenage girl.
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Bella Ramsey as Ellie impressed The Last of Us creators
Bella Ramsey gained widespread acclaim even after having such a small role in Game of Thrones. The 19-year-old actress made a name for herself with her electrifying performance as Lyanna Mormont. The performance even fascinated the creators of the show who were more than sure of their decision of taking her into the series. Watching her, Neil Druckmann exclaimed:
“It was like Ellie realized in live action. It didn’t feel like watching an actor.”
Initially, Ramsey didn’t want to be a part of The Last of Us as she didn’t want to be very famous and be widely known. But eventually, the actress made the role to herself. She agreed that the internet wasn’t too kind of the casting but she felt that the character of Ellie was already in her.
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The story of The Last of Us focuses on Joel escorting the teenage Ellie across a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested United States. Now with only a few days left for its release, it will be seen if the TV adaptation does justice to the game. Moreover, the creators have confirmed that despite some changes to the plot, they will stay true to the source material which hints at a brighter future for the series.
The Last of Us will be premiered on HBO Max on January 15, 2023.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter