Monday, March 24, 2014

Let's Cast the Last of Us Movie

Earlier this month it was announced that the amazing game Last of Us would be made into a movie. As thing have developed there are some really encouraging signs beginning to make their way out into the public arena: Sam Raimi is involved as a producer; Neil Druckmann, the Creative Director for Last of Us, is writing the script (see Screen Gems to Distribute Sam Raimi- Produced the Last of Us Movie for more); and the movie appears to be following the same story as the game (see ‘Last Of Us’ Movie Release Date, Cast & News Update: Film Plot Confirmed to be a Direct Game Adaptation for more).

So I decided to have some fun cast the movie's major players: Joel, Tess, Ellie, Marlene, and David. If you've played the game, or seen one of the play throughs on You Tube, then feel free to play along. Just through me a link in the comments and I'll add you to the bottom of the page!

Casting the Last of Us


Before I watched True Detective I would never have thought about putting Matthew McConaughey into a role that required as much from it's lead as Last of Us will. His growth as an actor over the last decade, however, has proven him more than capable of handling someone as complex as Joel. His most recent role as Rust Cohle in True Detective also proved that McConaughey is fully capable of pulling of the sort of dangerous, slightly unhinged nature of someone who's lived in Joel's world.

My alternative choice for this role would be Liam "I'm going to kill you and everyone who looks like you" Neeson. Liam's recent roles in Taken, Non Stop, and the Grey have proven that he's able to handle the sort of intense physical and emotional roles that a character like Joel would require. 

McConaughey as Rust Cohle in True Detective

When casting Tess you can't just go for a pretty face. The actress has to be able to pull off a role where she's both one of the most dangerous characters in the game and incredibly vulnerable at key times.

If I could pluck any actress from any time to put in this role I would have chosen Segorney Weaver from ten years ago - but now she'd come across as far too old when juxtaposed along side Joel.  So out of the actresses available today, in the right age range, I would go Charlize Theron. Charlize proved to the world that she could play the sort of unbelievably brutal and emotionally complex character she would be required to perform with Tess when she starred as Aileen Wuornos in Monster.

Theron as Aileen Wuornos in the movie Monster

While it would be casting to type, picking Ellen Page for this role seems like a no brainer. In role after role Ellen has proved that not only is she capable of pulling of the teen disenchantment with everything, but she's able to pull of a depth that few actors would even attempt. She has repeatedly pulled off similar roles throughout her career and has the naturally self-assured attitude that Ellie spends the entire game showing off.

The only alternative to Ellen Page, to my mind, will be a complete unknown. Unfortunately for me this role has been talked about a lot since the news of the movie broke and it's almost universally accepted that Ellie will be played by a new comer to the movie industry. 

A shame.

Ellen Page

For a role like Marlene you need to have someone who can not only put out that long, pained look of having to deal with a life that's really unacceptable but you also have to have someone who can pull off the depth of a woman that's constantly having to make difficult and impossible choices. While it would be easy to cast Halie Berry or Jada Pinkett Smith in this role, I think those women would be wrong for the role.

Instead I think that we should continue with our group of highly talented actors and bring in Taraji P. Henson. Nominated for an Oscar in 2008, Taraji not only can act amazingly well, but she has the look that Marlene has to pull: strong, confident, yet world weary. 

Taragi P. Henson looking vulnerable.


In a world filled to the brim with fungal-zombies, corrupt militaries, and human hunting survivors it takes a special kind of evil to stand above the crowd - and David not only stands out but makes all the other evils pale in comparison. In a role that requires the actor to not only be great, but to be smooth and cunning in all that he does one name stands out: Gary Oldman. Oldman has made his career playing complex characters vacillating from the kind and charming towards the vile and cruel. Casting him in this role would be easy.

The only alternative to Oldman that comes to mind is Daniel Day-Lewis. Daniel is renowned for his ability to disappear into a role and make you believe that the character is real. He's a brilliant actor and if you could get him to agree to be in this movie you'd be well off. 

Gary Oldman looking at you with those come hither eyes.

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