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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

21 John Hamm?
I can't believe Mad Men actor John Hamm has been overlooked - Great actor, looks like Joel and rocks a beard amazingly well! More

Posted by Preston2012 on Friday March 28, 2014, 08:32

22 RE: Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Jackman gets my vote from the list since he can do action, emotion and vulnerability. Dean Morgan is a great shout - he's certainly got the look! There's definitely a bit of Christian Bale there too. More

Posted by Hillsman on Thursday March 27, 2014, 12:17

23 Jeffrey Dean Morgan
A hugely underrated actor in my opinion who has the looks, the skill and the experience under his belt needed to pull off an outstanding Joel. He's relatively under the radar which is important too, in my opinion the more 'Mainstream' the actor the greater the chance of Joel's character being lost behind the image. More

Posted by Chemicalwolf22 on Tuesday March 25, 2014, 23:36

24 Langley Kirkwood
He is a good actor and cheaper,by the way those ten actors aren't look like Joel.Langley is Joel. More

Posted by jibaro on Tuesday March 25, 2014, 20:22

25
Hugh Jackman is a really excellent choice, especially since he's proven himself to have the acting chops to pull it off. Dylan McDermott and Bradley Cooper are also excellent choices. And Michael Fassbender would be great. If Bradley Cooper isn't too young to consider, neither should Fassy. More

Posted by annie_anita on Tuesday March 25, 2014, 16:55

26 Norman Reedus
Because of The Walking Dead More

Posted by JoeNig on Monday March 24, 2014, 20:51

27 Antonio Banderas
Because that's the popular in-joke with Joel anyway #rememberthegifs More

Posted by Bluehawk on Sunday March 23, 2014, 21:43

28 Mel Gibson
Great actor only age against him More

Posted by renzeau on Friday March 21, 2014, 07:44

29 Anson Mount
Just look at this image and tell me that's not Joel: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2936908544/nm0609845?ref_=n mmd_md_nxt More

Posted by aRTCy on Friday March 14, 2014, 17:10

30 Anson Mount
You clearly forgot about this guy. He is a dead ringer and has the build and acting chops for it. More

Posted by aRTCy on Friday March 14, 2014, 16:52

31 Joel Edgerton
Becuase... 'What kind of fungus are you trying to cultivate in my house?' More

Posted by putthatcookiedown on Friday March 14, 2014, 11:59

32
initially I was going with Karl Urban but I reckon Viggo could do the job. After all the Road is just a boring version of The last of us or is The last of us a exciting version of the Road :/ Anyway my point is that Mr Mortensen should get the gig. Check out Eastern Promise and you will see the darker side of him. Something that whoever plays Joel will need. More

Posted by doug64 on Thursday March 13, 2014, 22:22

33 Paddy Considine
Because... Dead Man's Shoes More

Posted by gregoire on Thursday March 13, 2014, 14:25

34
Has to be the Fassbender or Christian Bale...!! More

Posted by waltham1979 on Wednesday March 12, 2014, 13:21

35 Sharlto Copley
He should def be considered as he can do action and could look the part very well. More

Posted by HulkSmash on Wednesday March 12, 2014, 13:17

36 matthew mcconaughey
Why is he not on this list? More

Posted by altap1994 on Wednesday March 12, 2014, 12:50

37
troy baker is a great choice for joel, seeing as he motion captured the whole game and is the voice of the character, it would make sense. he just has to fill out a little and have a little help from the make up department. though i think the fact that this game is being made into a movie is a really dumb idea, it kind of is a movie already. More

Posted by paw18 on Wednesday March 12, 2014, 11:42

38 Nathan Fillion??
Heart says Fassbender but I also think that Joel Eggerton could pull it off (see his grizzled look from The Thing). Nathan Fillion has the voice and the wit but I don't think he's a big enough name to open a movie like this. More

Posted by Kavandclay on Wednesday March 12, 2014, 11:08

39 Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
It has to be Jaime Lannister - something about Joel just reminded me of him all the way through. And if we were going down the GoT route, then Maisie Williams wouldn't be a bad shout for Ellie. More

Posted by ding_i_like_chips on Wednesday March 12, 2014, 08:04

40 Paddy Considine
He would be excellent. More

Posted by HansGruber24 on Wednesday March 12, 2014, 04:53

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