HBO's The Last of Us Casts Pedro Pascal as Joel

Just hours after rumors began to circulate that former True Detective Mahershala Ali had been tapped to play the lead role in HBO's TV adaptation of The Last of Us (which was quickly debunked), Deadline now reports that The Mandalorian himself Pedro Pascal will take on the part of Joel Miller in the series. The trade reports Pascal fielded multiple offers for leading roles in other shows but ultimately decided on The Last of Us. He joins a cast that includes Bella Ramsey, best known for her fan-favorite role as Lyanna Mormont on Game of Thrones, who was confirmed earlier today to play Ellie.

It's unclear how Pascal will be able to juggle the task of working on the hit Star Wars show that he leads as well as HBO's adaptation of the video game series, but his casting is sure to draw shrieks of joy from fans the world over. Currently Lucasfilm is filming The Book of Boba Fett with The Mandalorian season three expected to begin shooting later in the year, possibly in April, opening up a window of time for Pascal to potentially take on another role. The trade notes that Pascal will work on both shows, and due to his character's religious mask ware, might not need to be on set the entire time.

In any event, Pascal taking on the role of a rugged gunfighter who becomes a reluctant caregiver in a wasteland filled with frequent peril is something that TV viewers are no doubt keen to continue watching.

The Last of Us TV series will be executive produced and written by Craig Mazin, who created HBO's Chernobyl. Neil Druckmann, the writer and creative director of the game, will also be executive producing. Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov has been tapped to direct the pilot.

"The Last of Us, a gritty emotional journey, will be coming to HBO," Jim Ryan, the President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said earlier this year. "This is just the beginning of the expansion of our storytelling into new media and even wider audiences. Sony is a creative entertainment company, and entertainment has never been more important."

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"If you have played the game, our intention is that you will watch the show and say 'this has violated nothing of what I loved about the game, and what I witnessed in the game, but it has also brought me a whole lot more - things I did not know, really amazing things'," Mazin explained in an interview with Must Watch last year.

HBO's The Last of Us does not yet have a release date.