Last of Us HBO cast: Fans already have ideas about who should play Joel and Ellie

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

After news broke that The Last of Us is being adapted into an HBO series, the internet quickly went about offering casting suggestions for Ellie and Joel. 

The series – set to be based on the original game – is being co-written and produced by the game's director, Neil Druckmann, and helmed by Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin. Casting flooded Twitter after the announcement was made official, and some of them are pretty darn spot on. We don't yet know if any of the events of the highly anticipated The Last of Us 2 releasing this May will bleed into the series, but regardless, it's a heck of a time for fans of the post-apocalyptic adventure. 

So, without further ado, here are some of the best casting choices we've seen so far.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Kaitlyn Dever

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By far the most popular choice for the roles of Ellie and Joel is Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – best known for playing Jamie Lannister in Game of Thrones – and Kaitlyn Dever, who starred in Olivia Wilde's brilliant directorial debut Booksmart. The pair have gotten some serious love online already, with many agreeing they're both perfect fits for the role.

Team Hugh Jackman 

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One of the top choices for playing Joel has been Hugh Jackman – or, more specifically, Jackman sporting the look of an older more grizzled Wolverine in Logan. Shots of Jackman travelling with young Laura in the movie offer some serious Joel and Ellie vibes, and we could see him fitting into the role pretty convincingly. The other image shows a younger Jackman in Prisoners, and he certainly has the perfect beardy look. 

Sophia Lillis

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One of my personal favourites for Ellie is IT Chapter 2's Sophia Lillis, who recently starred in the fantastic Netflix series I Am Not Okay With This. Just look at how Lillis' features compare to Ellie's – the resemblance is definitely there, and she certainly has the acting ability to play a convincing Ellie.

Sadie Sink from Stranger Things

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Another great choice for Ellie is Sadie Sink, who played a prominent role in the most recent seasons of Stranger Things as Max Mayfield. We can certainly see the resemblance here, and going from Sink's work in the Duffer brothers supernatural world, I think it's safe to say she could do the role justice. 

Gerard Butler aka Team Beard

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Gerard Butler is another choice that keeps popping up for the role of Joel. You've got to admit, Butler has got the look down. The comparisons of his beardy, stubbly look are basically a perfect match, and with his acting talent.... Let's just put it this way: I wouldn't be mad to see Gerard in the role. 

While we wait for the official cast to be revealed, the fan picks are pretty darn great, and I, for one, hope HBO makes a killer decision soon. 

In other news, The Last of Us movie has reportedly been cancelled to make room for the HBO series

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.