One of the internet’s prime picks for the role of Ellie has spoken out about The Last of Us HBO series (opens in new tab), including her experience with the game, and even a perhaps previously-unnoticed connection the actress has to another one of Naughty Dog’s hits.
Kaitlyn Dever, perhaps best known for Booksmart, Justified, and Netflix’s mini-series Unbelievable, told Collider (opens in new tab): “I obviously have been seeing the Internet, and I’ve obviously been seeing a lot of [the fan casting]. Neil Druckmann, I worked with him on Uncharted 4. I think he’s one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met, and one of the sweetest. And I’m not shutting it down, you know? I’m not shutting it down. I would absolutely love to do that.”
So, Dever, who played (spoilers for Uncharted 4 (opens in new tab)) Nathan Drake’s daughter Cassie in the game’s epilogue, has a prior working relationship with Neil Druckmann, who will be co-writing the show alongside Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin. Whether that puts her in pole position for the role is anyone’s guess – but her comments on the game itself with undeniably endear herself to the legion of The Last of Us fans.
“I am a huge fan of that video game. I think it is a beautiful story. It’s just a wonderful narrative, and I fell in love with that game when it came out. And I played it with my dad and we just had the best time. I’m not very good at it. My aim is really bad, but I’m working on getting better at playing,” Dever said.
The actress, when asked about who she’d like to see play Joel alongside her, even name-checked Hugh Jackman.
As for the status of the show’s pre-production and casting – that’s still very much up in the air due to recent events. Pre-lockdown, Mazin said that he expected things to pick up after The Last of Us 2’s release (opens in new tab), then scheduled for May. Since that has been put on ice for now, who knows when things will get rolling again. But when they do, expect Dever to be squarely in the frame for the role of Ellie.
For more from The Last of Us HBO series, check out these fan-casting suggestions from all corners of the internet. (opens in new tab)