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Film Studies 101
Feature
10 Actors Who Could Play Joel In The Last Of Us Movie
Grizzled manly men worthy of the role

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Sam Raimi is producing the movie adaptation of Naughty Dog’s critically-acclaimed action-adventure survival horror video game, The Last Of Us, which means he’s bound to be thinking about casting right about now. Though the young female lead, Ellie, will probably have to be a newcomer, Joel – a ruthless survivor of a fungal spore-based infection that turns human into zombies – will no doubt be played by a more established actor. Here are 10 suggestions (mostly serious), for who should play the grizzled shiv swinger.

WORDS ALI PLUMB
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Hugh Jackman
HUGH JACKMAN

Because... Prisoners
In Denis Villeneuve's abduction thriller, everyone's favourite part-time mutant plays a father willing to turn to violence after his daughter is taken from him. Combine this raw parental power with the survival instincts seen in Les Mis, any X-Men movie and the press tour of Van Helsing and you've got yourself a Joel.

Russell Crowe
RUSSELL CROWE

Because... Gladiator
He's already played a father to a murdered son and husband to a murdered wife, so playing a father to a murdered daughter should be a cinch. If he were to get the Joel role, he would probably have to get his vengeance in this life rather than the next, mind.

Gerard Butler
GERARD BUTLER

Because... Nim's Island
If Abigail Breslin were the right age, she'd have been a great shout for the part of Ellie, but, alas, she's 17 years old, and Ellie is not. Fortunately, her work with Gerard Butler on kiddy flick Nim's Island may (or, more likely, may not) make Raimi and company appreciate the Tartan Spartan's die-hard daddy skills.

Josh Brolin
JOSH BROLIN

Because... No Country For Old Men
Much of The Last Of Us was inspired by the Coens' new-Western thriller, including the character of Joel. No surprise, then, that when Empire suggested Brolin for the part, game co-creator Bruce Straley said: "That would be awesome. Sometimes I have that conversation with [In-game voice of Ellie] Ashley Johnson – she actually said she thought Josh Brolin wasn't vulnerable enough…"

Viggo Mortensen
VIGGO MORTENSEN

Because... The Road
Cinema has precious few post-apocalyptic survival movies involving a middle-aged man and a young child but The Road is one of them and Strider is excellent in it. He probably won't want to play such a similar role quite so soon, but that shouldn't stop casting agents thinking of him anyway.

Dylan McDermott
DYLAN MCDERMOTT

Because... American Horror Story
The biggest thing going for Gerard Butler's Olympus Has Fallen co-star is his face. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to Joel, he certainly gets a pass in the looks department, and thanks to playing a petrified pater in American Horror Story, we know he can do dread.

Karl Urban
KARL URBAN

Because... Dredd
Speaking of dread, here's Dredd himself, who recently "babysat" a younger member of the human species (a telepathic Olivia Thirlby), guiding her through a kill-or-be-killed dystopian wasteland whilst grunting and/or growling. For another unlikely buddy-up from Urban, check out Almost Human (which features more androids than it does zombies).

Liam Neeson
LIAM NEESON

Because... Taken
Why? Because he's Liam Neeson, which means he deserves more than a passing mention, especially considering his daughter-saving duties in both Taken and Taken 2. His crafting capabilities also cannot be denied, as seen in The Grey, where he fashions a set of wolf-busting knuckledusters from whisky miniatures.

Bradley Cooper
BRADLEY COOPER

Because... American Hustle
More specifically, his beard in American Hustle, though the less said about the hair, the better. Then there's his work in The Hangover, which should prepare him for dealing with possibly the worst morning after in the history of existence: the zombie apocalypse.

Bruce Campbell
BRUCE CAMPBELL

Because... Sam Raimi
Be honest: it would be pretty groovy. Definitely worth an audition, if only because his work with zombies – sorry, deadites – is unparalleled, and we'd love to see Joel with a chainsaw.


VOTE: WHICH OF THESE ACTORS WOULD YOU LOVE TO SEE PLAY THE ROLE?
Or if it's someone else you prefer, let us know in the comment section below.

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Have Your Say
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Your Comments

1 Anson Mount
Definitely Anson Mount for Joel! out of the list above I would've chose Josh Brolin but I can't believe Mount isn't even on there! He's clearly the perfect guy for it. Gotta see Hell on Wheels if you're not convinced. More

Posted by Thomoose on Tuesday March 3, 2015, 17:41

2 Anson Mount for Joel and....
Anson Mount for Joel. Ellie: Willow Shields, Sammi Hanratty or Caitlin Carmichael. William Baldwin for Tommy, put a scruffy beard and mustache on him and he's a dead ringer for Tommy, already has similar mannerisms in real life. More

Posted by dudeposter on Friday January 23, 2015, 18:08

3 Why Josh Brolin will deliver the most true performance
I see a high percentage are voting for Hugh Jackman but I worry his more light performance in XMen just won't be gritty and dangerous enough for the depth of Joel. Joel is dangerous, he's a survivor and does what's necessary! We are both impressed and afraid of Joel and we see his deep wound by the death of his daughter which forced him to bury any softness he had before. Jackman in similar roles has never quite delivered this and I don't believe I would feel that genuine grit and fear I want to experience when I see Joel's interactions with other characters. Whereas Brolin has delivered that shudder sensation I beleive the part justifies. Equally, Mortensen would play the part fantastically but I'm not sure he has the age the part needs and has already delivered a very similar role in The Road and I'm sure he doesn't want to attach himself to another almost identical role that might see him type cast as the apocalyptic actor. It is highly subjective, and I admit that, but BroliMore

Posted by Londonguy2015 on Monday January 19, 2015, 16:08

4 Anson Mount
Although I love Hugh Jackman, this one clearly needs Anson Mount. I fyou haven't seen Hell on Wheels, you gotta watch it and will be convinced as well. More

Posted by Sparklepants80 on Friday January 2, 2015, 21:36

5 AnsonMount
In my opinion Anson Mount is the only one to play Joel - doggedly handsome and real acting chops. Can't believe he's not on your list. More

Posted by Cleartammy on Friday January 2, 2015, 02:53

6 AnsonMount
In my opinion Anson Mount is the only one to play Joel - doggedly handsome and real acting chops. Can't believe he's not on your list. More

Posted by Cleartammy on Friday January 2, 2015, 02:53

7 Mr.Mount for Joel All the way!!!
ANSON MOUNT from Hell on Wheels If you have seen the show you know I speak the truth! And if you haven't seen it...what the hell you waiting for?!?!?! He is perfect for Joel!!! More

Posted by MindyLouoo on Friday January 2, 2015, 00:38

8 Dennis Quaid
Just look at him in Pandorum, he's the spitting image of Joel and could probably sound like him if he lets his accent slip a little, he also has had dealings putting up with Lindsey Lohan strops in The Parent Trap so anything Ellie can throw won't phase him, also he's got experience playing a father figure in an apocalyptic scenario, what more do you need? Go on Empire, add him to the list of possibilities, you know it makes sense ;) More

Posted by liam073 on Tuesday December 9, 2014, 19:15

9 Eric Bana
Eric Bana really looks like Joel More

Posted by bizakora on Sunday October 26, 2014, 02:35

10 JOE MANGANIELLO
Joe Manganiello is perfec for Joel !!! More

Posted by ALMA.PACHECO6 on Friday October 24, 2014, 00:08

11 Christian Bale
I do not disagree with this. In fact, after watching 'The Road', i really think Viggo Mortensenwould would be incredible. As well Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe also who would be amazing for the role of Joel. Im still very surprised though at how Christian Bale did not even make this cut. Have you even seen him in 'Out of the Furnace'? It is in my top favourites that film and it hardly got any notice! His beard, his acting; it is perfect for him. Honestly should he not even get a mention? I reckon he would bring the most out of Joel from the game out onto the big screen. More

Posted by harryguttridge on Thursday October 23, 2014, 23:14

12 Christian Bale
I do not disagree with this. In fact, after watching 'The Road', i really think Viggo Mortensenwould would be incredible. As well Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe also who would be amazing for the role of Joel. Im still very surprised though at how Christian Bale did not even make this cut. Have you even seen him in 'Out of the Furnace'? It is in my top favourites that film and it hardly got any notice! His beard, his acting; it is perfect for him. Honestly should he not even get a mention? I reckon he would bring the most out of Joel from the game out onto the big screen. More

Posted by harryguttridge on Thursday October 23, 2014, 20:21

13
What about Tom Hardy, the landscape will be total opposite of Mad Max. Also I think Bradley Cooper be more suited for another video game character Nathan Drake More

Posted by NatariDB on Monday August 11, 2014, 17:20

14 Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman is literally the closest Joel for major actors that i have ever seen, he has the perfect head shape, dat beard and also a great father figure character no doubt that he shouldn't get the role More

Posted by killaxen on Thursday June 26, 2014, 02:00

15 naw
josh brolin handles it with his shot gun More

Posted by killyourealslow on Thursday May 22, 2014, 04:16

16 naw
josh brolin handles it with his shot gun More

Posted by killyourealslow on Thursday May 22, 2014, 04:16

17 Hugh Jackman
While watching Prisoners when I first saw Hugh Jackman I immediately thought he looked exactly like Joel. Plays a great father too! More

Posted by lastofus000 on Tuesday May 20, 2014, 23:17

18 Josh Brolin
Brolin or go home More

Posted by killyourealslow on Saturday May 17, 2014, 21:50

19 Pearce or Brolin
Guy Pearce would be incredible as Joel, fantastic actor and looks the spit with the beard, Brolin is a close second though, sort of resembles him but can pull off the manner of Joel perfectly, somewhere inbetween True Grit and No Country for Old Men More

Posted by liama132 on Wednesday May 14, 2014, 09:10

20 Andrew Lincoln
Reckon he could pull off a great Joel. Otherwise Nathan Fillion and Viggo Mortensen would be good picks More

Posted by simski22 on Sunday May 4, 2014, 20:37

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