So if you haven’t heard, it is true. The Last of Us is being made into a movie. It has been confirmed. The Last of Us was by far, the best game to come out in the past year and there is a reason for that. It has a fantastic story, some of the best characters I’ve ever seen in a video game, graphics to die for, heart-wrenching emotional moments, amazing voice-acting, and an ending that will leave you feeling….feelings. But is it even a good idea to try and mimic this one-of-a-kind video game on the big screen? Isn’t that the question of the day (Ever since seeing Dane DeHaan in the Amazing Spiderman 2 trailer, I’ve always wanted to say that)?
When I first heard rumors of the idea, I was almost furious. I had just played the game and experienced something that is rare in video games. And it is such a rich story that it affected me on a personal level. A lot of that is credit to the amazing voice acting of Troy Baker (Joel) and Ashley Johnson (Ellie). Troy Baker, who is in like every good video game now, brought a gruff, damaged, and vulnerable character to full life. And Ashley Johnson deserves all of the recognition she has gotten because she is just amazing on every level. But can that be replicated? An even better question is should it be attempted? I was bothered when a sequel idea started making the rounds in the news. This story is excellent and needed to be left alone. Don’t tarnish it with a sequel just to make money. Don’t ruin the high praise it has with a movie if it can’t live up to the game.
There is nothing we can do at this point. It is apparently happening. Even though Uncharted was supposed to be happening too, but that has gone nowhere. Thank goodness for that, because the story that David O. Russell was working with was a horrible idea. A family of treasure hunters that doesn’t follow the game? No thank you. So it remains to be seen if we will actually get this movie. But as of now, Sam Raimi is producing it. This worries some people because not everyone was a fan of his Spiderman films. But with a big name producing this movie, if it stays that way, I have confidence that it would be in good hands. Raimi wouldn’t take a video game movie unless he felt passionately about it. And I know there is more to this game than being classified in just the “horror” genre, but a “horror” movie can’t be in better hands than Sam Raimi. Yes, most of his horror movies were VERY comedic, but still; he can kick ass with that genre. Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness, and Drag Me to Hell were all really entertaining horror movies. But this movie would take a much more serious approach.
Do I agree with this movie being made? Hell no. But that is because I’m a die hard fan of this game. I’ve re-played three times now and it never gets old. Every moment still hits me hard as if it was the first play-through. I don’t want it to be ruined. If they attach an awesome director to this movie, I will probably be thrilled. David Fincher or Alfonso Cuarón come to mind. Fincher is amazing when it comes to really dark subject matter. Just look at Seven, Fight Club, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; dark movies that were done expertly. And Cuarón would almost be a perfect fit. The game takes a lot of inspiration from his previous film, Children of Men. He is very good with drama and emotional moments. So, I’d be thrilled with either of those. But it asks a lot to expect A-list directors like them to become attached to a project like The Last of Us. After all, it is still a video game adaptation.
So I definitely don’t want a movie on The Last of Us. But if we get one, I want it done right. Since I already went ahead and thought about the best-case-scenario directors for this movie; I went ahead and thought of a cast as well. I know, another one of those “dream cast” posts. But I take mine into heavy consideration. It took me a long time to come to the conclusion of some of these actors and actresses. I don’t just throw in certain actors because they “look the part”. No, I take acting talent into heavy account when deciding things like this. So below I have listed by character who I would want to be casted in that role. Please be sure to take a look and even give me your suggestions. This is an opinion piece so by all means, share yours.
Joel is a very hard character to cast. He has a lot of history. We meet people that he knows from the past. We see sides to him that aren’t pretty. That is what’s so good about this game; the characters are deeply flawed but we accept them as they are. That being said, Joel is damaged and vulnerable. We need an actor who can show that vulnerability not only through voice, but facial expressions as well. For certain characters, I may have a couple different choices because it is hard to pinpoint one actor. But I will do my best.
1st choice — Josh Brolin. I say Josh Brolin because he has the look and voice down already. And if you haven’t seen No Country for Old Men, you are really missing out. He shows range in that film and it can definitely help with the role of Joel. One criticism is that he may be too old. But to that I say what does it really matter? Joel is an older character. He may not be as old as Brolin is, but Brolin can play younger and older than he actually is. So that isn’t a fair criticism.
2nd choice– Jeffrey Dean Morgan. I know, I know. TV actor. I knew the criticisms that Jeffrey Dean Morgan would face if I even mentioned him. But the fact is, he has played this father figure character before in Supernatural. He plays it well. Joel isn’t the nicest person on the planet all of the time. And Morgan can convey that as well. Plus, the guy has some acting chops. Watchmen may not have been the best movie in the world (Thanks Zack Snyder) but his portrayal of The Comedian was one of the highlights. Plus, his beard is awesome.
3rd choice — Hugh Jackman. He isn’t all the way at number one just because I don’t see him pulling off that kind of country vibe. Joel has a kind of country accent and it is rather silly that I’m assuming Jackman can’t do one; but I have yet to see one from him. Jackman is a terrific actor and his portrayal of a damaged father in Prisoners was pretty damn good. He fits the age range, I think. Any of these choices would be good. Only reason I didn’t like the idea of “fan-favorite” Viggo Mortenson is because we’ve seen him do a very similar character in The Road.
Ellie is such a hard character to cast. And before anyone even suggests it, let me put it to rest. No Ellen Page! Yes, I know that her face is almost an identical match for the most part. And I know her voice is very close to Ellie’s too. And if she was like 10-12 years younger, I might be on board. But the actress is probably pushing her late 20’s. And Ellie is a teenager. Come on guys, I know thirty year olds can play high-schoolers sometimes, but it just wouldn’t work here. She has to be seen as an innocent “little” girl. Not an innocent almost adult who is actually 27 years old. I’m also going to say no to Chloe Grace Moretz, who is also a fan favorite. I love her as an actress but I just don’t see that working out. She can do any role but I just can’t go with it. I don’t think she would be able to convey everything that needs to be conveyed. It is just a personal opinion but it is what I think. She definitely could get away with the odd bits of humor that Ellie brings to the table but I just don’t want to go that route. I think that they honestly need to bring in an unknown child actor, just so there’s no expectations and that hopefully they can find one that can knock it out of the park. But I still found two young actresses that I could see for a fit for this role.
1st choice — Hailee Steinfeld. If you never saw True Grit, you will have no fricken clue who I am even talking about here. But she starred in a very challenging role in that movie. She had to go toe-to-toe with veteran actors like Jeff “The Dude” Bridges and Matt Damon. She stole almost every scene she was in. She was snappy and she had a lot of attitude. Guess what? That is needed with Ellie. She was able to handle the fast-talking dialogue that the Coen Brothers required and she fricken nailed it. Now, she wasn’t anything special in Ender’s Game but she sold me on True Grit alone. She has the acting chops to do it.
2nd choice — Maisie Williams. Yes, I am a Game of Thrones fan. Big time fan. But I have no bias towards her for this movie. She is just a fantastic child actor that I hope continues to do great things. But she is witty and spunky as the difficult Arya Stark on the hit HBO series. But she also has to convey a crap ton of sadness in that show. A lot of emotion. And that is one of the most important things about Ellie. She may be a little too young, or maybe she isn’t. Honestly, I have no idea. But she would be a great choice. If not these two, go with an unknown actress. Not Ellen Page, Chloe Grace Moretz, or Abigail Breslin.
Tess is probably one of the easier ones to cast. Just because it doesn’t take a lot of emotional weight and she can be played really by virtually anybody. But Tess is a badass character. She can shoot. She can fend for herself. She definitely has tough skin. She is kind of the catalyst that gets shit moving in the story at the beginning of the game. So we need an actress who can play tough, badass with a weapon, but also can show some range when it comes to her layered toughness. You can see when things bother her but you can tell she is trying to hide it. Let’s look at my choices.
1st choice — Annie fricken Wersching. Sorry if you were looking for some high profile actress here. She voiced the character in the game and she actually looks like Tess in a way. If you dye her hair from red to brown, she could fit. But I have seen firsthand when Annie Wersching tries playing a badass on screen and it works for the most part. She was what 24 tried to force her to be; a female Jack Bauer. First of all, no one can be Jack Bauer but Jack Bauer. And no one can be Jack Bauer but Kiefer Sutherland. But even though that show kind of screwed her character up so bad towards the end, she did show her skills off on screen while she could. She could shoot, fight, and play that character with tough skin who tries to hide it. It is almost the same character. Take Renee Walker from 24 and throw her in The Last of Us with brown hair and it is almost a direct fit. She knows the character and material already. Go with her.
2nd choice — Famke Janssen. Only because I had to pick a second choice. And I didn’t want to go with the clear-cut fan favorite that is Carrie-Anne Moss. I see why everyone loves her for the role but I’ve just never liked her as an actress so its more of a personal preference here. Moss was cool as Trinity but I just never liked her really in anything noteworthy. She played the bitch well in Memento but other than that, not a fan. Janssen is probably too old, but she has the look down and the badass part down. Couldn’t go wrong with her.
Hey! It’s Chiwitel Ejiofor from Children of Men. I’m just kidding. But the two characters do share a lot of similarities. A lot. This character is a tough cookie. She is strong but has to deal with losing people close to her. She is a leader, but doesn’t like all of the consequences that comes with that title. She is leading a big group that a lot of people don’t like. But she is a very strong female character. And there really is only one choice for her. At least for me. I know of one actress that can convey everything about this character and it wouldn’t be that difficult. That actress is….
Only choice — Zoe Saldana. If you don’t like her then you can shut up. Just kidding, you have a right to an opinion just like me. But she is a clear cut fantastic choice. She is beautiful and has played very many different roles. I mean, come on people, she had to pretend to be interested in Sam Worthington in Avatar. That in itself was a challenge. Sorry, Sam. But she has played very strong female characters. They may not be the best movies all of the time but she has done a very good job with what she has been offered at this point. Colombiana is a good example. Shitty movie, but a strong character that took some acting chops. And she isn’t given the most to do in Star Trek, but she shines with what she has. She is really the only choice for Marlene.
For the rest, now that the main four are done, I’m just going to list the character and list my choice for actor or actress, without a description. Because other than the main four, the reasoning isn’t that important. So here we go.
The only choice for me here is Josh Holloway.
The only choice for Bill, for me, is Brendan Gleeson.
Maria Bello would be my pick.
Henry should be played by Harold Perrineau. Just because he is perfect. He is older but I don’t really care. Get a random child actor for Sam. Not that important.
This guy can only be played by a couple people. It requires awesome acting. And my two choices would be…
1.) John Hawkes
2.) Adrien Brody
Either one would work for me. It’d be perfection. The rest of the cast can be random actors. Joel’s daughter, Sam, and the rest isn’t too important to me. Unknowns would work just as well as experienced actors. But that’s my opinion at least.
That would be my cast for The Last of Us movie. What would some of your ideas be? I, for one, hope the movie never happens. But if it does, please just make it really good. Thanks. Sincerely, every video game fan across the globe.