Sony recently announced their plans to go full throttle into a movie based on the hit, The Last of Us. It made a great game, but making it a great movie requires a great script adaptation and a great cast. Being that I know a thing or two about movies and literally nothing about casting, I decided to draw up what I thought would make for a great adaptation for Sony to look into. If you’re reading this Shuhei Yoshida, I am available to be a casting director.
*Warning: Possible SPOILERS ahead. Although I did attempt to avoid them altogether.*
With a career spanning almost 30 years, Josh Brolin has been in cult classics and Oscar nominated roles alike. He’s a talent that has more than proved himself time and time again. The role of Joel should be given to a strong lead actor who demands authority but also has the ability to show weakness. Those who have seen No Country for Old Men know his range.
Chloe Grace Moretz has been an up and coming star over the past few years with hits like Kick Ass and Hugo and a role like Ellie could add even more depth into her range. Ellie is playful but damaged which is something Ashley Johnson nailed on the head so seeing Chloe expand on that on screen could be interesting.
When looking for actresses to play Tess, I scouted the internet for talents that have some background and that look. Then I actually looked at the actress who played her and it became apparent. Annie Wersching has a lengthy resume full of TV and movies and on top of it all, she has the look. Pretty but hardcore. Tess was good to look at but she could beat your ass. Annie can too.
Marlene has a mission. She doesn’t bend on that mission no matter what’s at stake. She’s a strong African American woman who needs to be represented properly and respectfully. Danai Guiria has proved more than enough times on The Walking Dead that she can reach all of the emotional levels needed to play Marlene. A caring but determined individual with a motherly disposition is part of who Michonne is and, even more so, who she becomes.
Before Ellie, Joel had Sarah. A curious girl who was in the wrong place at the absolute wrong time. A friend of mine pointed out the new show Believe and I noticed the maturity in acting skills by a young Johnny Sequoyah. It’s exactly the kind of innocence that is needed for a character like Sarah. Now would be the time to grab her for a role like this and before Believe sinks or survives.
Bill is a crazy son of a bitch but more importantly, a resourceful son of a bitch. Some of the most humorous and disturbing scenes in The Last of Us are focused on Bill. Then I thought, who else is a crazy S.O.B. with some humor? Bill “F’in” Murray of course. I won’t even further describe why Bill Murray is awesome.
Joel’s brother Tommy was there when it all started. He saw the destruction of society and even better still, he saw the destruction of Joel. Although he isn’t a major character per se, Tommy has his own story that would be greatly benefited by a talented actor. Viggo Mortenson can portray all facets of who Tommy became over the course of all of those years. He’s an incredibly talented actor who knows a thing or two about apocalyptic movies. Go watch The Road if you don’t believe me.
Tommy’s wife Maria is a badass who doesn’t take crap from anybody; including her own husband. She ran a settlement powered by turbines with her father before she met Tommy and she’d run it without him if need be. Laurie Holden has proved she can be exude confidence on a dime. Without holding her role as Andrea on The Walking Dead against her, Holden can hold her own opposite Mortenson.
Along their journey, Joel and Ellie come to a young man named Henry and his brother Sam. Although they’re only in the game for a short time, they arguably had the largest impact on Ellie as a character. Most people would jump right to Michael B. Jordan to tackle the role of Henry. I, however, look towards Chadwick Boseman to fill those shoes. His breakout role in 42 as the legendary Jackie Robinson was fantastic. He absolutely knocked it out of the park (sorry) and definitely has the acting chops to play Henry.
I spent awhile looking for an actor to portray Henry’s younger brother and the same name kept coming to my brain: Jaden Smith. I know that you’re probably thinking, “There has to be another young black actor out there.” There probably is but Smith embodies who Sam is as a fun loving kid born to a world that doesn’t care who you are or how old you are. Smith also has years of experience at a very young age and my guess is that he has already played the game. As long as Will keeps his face out of the film, Jaden is a perfect Sam.
The world of The Last of Us is full of cordyceps infected humans but the real threat are the humans. What makes a human dangerous is the chance that their intentions are unknown and one such man is David. After watching True Detective and Dallas Buyers Club, I now have full confidence that Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey can do any role. He could probably play most of the other roles on this list but seeing McConaughey tackle David’s “everything happens for a reason” mentality would be interesting.
Honorable mention: A Clicker played by Gary Busey. Just because.
So there you have it. Do you agree? Disagree? Who would you most like to see fill the shoes of 2013's hit game. Let me know in the comments below.