The award-winning actor also appeared in Luke Cage!
The resounding success of The Last of Us: Part II, the biggest Game Award winner in history, may have encouraged HBO to invest heavily in the TV adaptation of The Last of Us. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mahershala Ali would have played the role of Joel – the great protagonist of the first game – but did not make a contract.
While this is a bold move, it wouldn’t be the first time The Last of Us has promoted diversity in its stories. Neil Druckmann, creator of the franchise, believes that including different types of people is the best way to enrich a story and that may be the intent of this unusual move.
Druckmann is directly involved in the production of the new series. Along with Craig Mazin – creator of the award-winning Chernobyl series – he will be one of the show’s executive producers. PlayStation itself is also helping development, so the series should be at least as good as the games.
According to The Illuminerdi, which has a good track record with its rumors, the role of protagonist Joel has already been offered to actor Mahershala Ali. HBO initially wanted actor Matthew McConaughey on the project, but ended up refusing the proposal. Now the studio is negotiating for Ali to accept the challenge of playing the controversial Joel Miller.
THR says Ali and HBO have yet to make a deal on the role. And the actor’s agenda may have been a deciding factor in the acceptance of this project. Mahershala has contracted with Marvel Studio to record the new movie Blade. It’s unclear when filming will begin, but it looks like Blade is still in the early stages of production.
Who is Joel in The Last of Us series?
Joel Miller just wanted to take care of his daughter at the start of Game One of The Last of Us, but things are going incredibly badly. There is a 20 year time jump and we have started to follow his life as a smuggler in a country dominated by people infected with a zombie fungus. He then meets Ellie, a girl immune to the fungus, and decides to take her to a distant lab where a cure can be developed.
During the journey, the relationship between Joel and Ellie blossomed in a very touching way, touching thousands of fans. The series could explore what happened around that time that was not shown in the game, between the start of the first game and meeting Ellie. It’s already been confirmed that the series will adapt the events of the first game, but it never hurts to dream more, right?
Who is Mahershala Ali?
Mahershala Ali collects acting awards for the Green Book and Moonlight films. Although he was an Oscar darling, he was best known to the public for his work on the Netflix series. He was Remy Danton in House of Cards. In Luke Cage, a series produced in partnership with Marvel, he was the villainous Cornell Stokes.
Mahershala is used to living complex characters that have marked pop culture and his performance is more than proven to have the nuances necessary to bring a character as complicated as Joel to life. It remains to be seen if the actor is available for the role.
What do you think of this new Joel so different from games? Can Mahershala Ali deliver a more striking performance than Troy Baker? Be sure to comment!
While we don’t have a confirmation, check out our bets on Ellie’s role: