The Last of Us: Kaitlyn Dever of Booksmart Speaks Out on Fan Casting as Ellie for HBO Series

Before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic derailed just about everything for television and movies, HBO and Naughty Dog announced that The Last of Us, the popular game from the latter that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world after a deadly infection wreaks havoc, would be getting a series adaptation at the former. Craig Mazin, creator of HBO's Chernobyl, is attached, alongside Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann, who will help write and executive produce. While a number of actors have been bandied about by fans for possible roles as Ellie and Joel ever since, one that crops up regularly is Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart), and Dever has now responded to this fan casting in an extremely positive way.

"Listen, I am a huge fan of the game, and I don't know if a lot of people know that, but I'm saying it now: I am a huge fan of that video game," Dever told Collider. "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. I love The Last of Us, I think it's an incredible story."

"I obviously have been seeing the internet, and I've obviously been seeing a lot of that," she continued. "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. I'm not shutting it down. I would absolutely love to do that, but I don't know where it's at yet, but... I love The Last of Us."

"Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus," Mazin said when the series was announced. "Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I'm so honored to do it in partnership with Neil."

"From the first time I sat down to talk with Craig I was equally blown away by his approach to narrative and his love and deep understanding of The Last of Us," Druckmann added. "With Chernobyl, Craig and HBO created a tense, harrowing, emotional masterpiece. I couldn't think of better partners to bring the story of The Last of Us to life as a television show."

What do you of Dever as Ellie? Are you excited to check out the show when it releases? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!

It's currently unclear when HBO's The Last of Us adaptation might release. Carolyn Strauss and Naughty Dog president Evan Wells will also executive produce, and The Last of Us show is a co-production between Sony Pictures Television and PlayStation Productions -- which makes it the first television series for PlayStation Productions. PlayStation Productions also happens to be involved with the Uncharted film adaptation, which isn't surprising given that it's another Naughty Dog franchise. The Last of Us Part II, the upcoming sequel to the original video game, is set to release for PlayStation 4... at some point in the future. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the upcoming HBO series right here.