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The Last of Us Part 2’s Troy Baker reveals his original pick to play Joel in the TV series

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Troy Baker – who plays Joel in The Last of Us (opens in new tab) and The Last of Us 2 (opens in new tab) – has revealed who he once wanted to play his iconic character.

After being asked who should step into his shoes for The Last of Us HBO TV series (opens in new tab), Baker told Collider (opens in new tab) that a chance meeting with a certain Josh Brolin at an airport before The Last of Us was released led to the voice actor believing the No Country for Old Men (opens in new tab) and Avengers: Endgame (opens in new tab) star would be right for the role.

“I walked up. I was like, ‘Man, I doubt you remember this, but you and I were doing a movie.’ He was doing No Country [for Old Men], and I was doing a western… I said, ‘There is a game that’s coming out. And I want you to know that, for me, so much of your work was very influential.’ And he really, really was. And I was like, ‘If you ever get the call for a character named Joel, I would be honored and I think you would be enriched to play that character.'”

Baker went on to say that while Brolin “would be a knockout choice,” he still had some reservations: “I don’t know if I would walk away learning something different about Joel,” he admitted.

Aside from Brolin, one popular pick isn’t on Baker’s mind: “Everyone goes, like, Hugh Jackman – they just go for the aesthetic,” but said there are instead unnamed others who he thought would be “great.”

We might find out about any potential casting news – whether it’s Joel, Ellie, or anyone else from Naughty Dog’s rich tapestry – very soon. Craig Mazin, who is co-creating The Last of Us HBO TV series alongside Naughty Dog director Neil Druckmann, has revealed on his Scriptnotes (opens in new tab) podcast, “We’re going to dig in in full, full earnest once they wrap up their final work on the sequel.”

So, any day now. Until then – keep on fan-casting.

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Bradley Russell
Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.