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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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Your Comments

21
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

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

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

23
Has to be the Fassbender or Christian Bale...!! More

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

24 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

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

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

26
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

27 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

28 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

29 Paddy Considine
He would be excellent. More

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

30 Michael Fassbender for Joel
Really surprised he hasn't been mentioned! Sure he's not THAT old but with some make up, the beard and scruffy hair he'd pull it off. But ultimately I agree that the universe of TLOU should be explored in a film, Joel/Ellie's story wouldn't live up to the game. More

Posted by PCN95 on Tuesday March 11, 2014, 23:13

31 RE: Voice Actors anyone?
Ashley (Ellie) is too old, Troy Baker (Joel) too young in a nutshell. More

Posted by PCN95 on Tuesday March 11, 2014, 23:11

32 MANU BENNETT
All day long! He looks the exact part is and damn cool (as Deathroke in Arrow innit plus Azog in the hobbit doncherknow) More

Posted by Hanroro on Tuesday March 11, 2014, 23:01

33 Michael Fassbender for Joel
Really surprised he hasn't been mentioned! Sure he's not THAT old but with some make up, the beard and scruffy hair he'd pull it off. But ultimately I agree that the universe of TLOU should be explored in a film, Joel/Ellie's story wouldn't live up to the game. More

Posted by PCN95 on Tuesday March 11, 2014, 22:56

34 Josh Brolin and an unknown NOT HUGH JACKMAN
if hugh jackman was cast for this it would be worse than ben affleck playing batman. you can't take jackman seriously like this role requires. hes too soft. even as wolverine. More

Posted by patrick_potter07 on Tuesday March 11, 2014, 22:54

35
Hopefully it's set in the Last Of Us universe but doesn't have any of the same characters. Having a version of Ellie that looks different and isn't voiced by Ashley Johnson would be horrible, and even Joel having a different voice would be odd.. Really hoping it's different characters.. More

Posted by Ben25BBB on Tuesday March 11, 2014, 22:04

36 Dakota Fanning and Josh Brolin
Make it happen, somebody More

Posted by the_driver on Tuesday March 11, 2014, 22:04

37 Stop!
There's no need for this movie. There's no way a film could get the viewer as emotionally involved as the game does. The cut scenes and cinematic gameplay is already better than a lot of what Hollywood has to offer anyway. I know of nobody who's played the game that honestly wants to see the film. Talking up the cast list is good craic though. More

Posted by TonyJ on Tuesday March 11, 2014, 21:47

38
I always thought it should be Josh Brolin but my friend suggested nikolaj coster-waldau which i think could be a great idea More

Posted by jackmars on Tuesday March 11, 2014, 21:30

39 Some of these suggestions would be criminal if chosen....
My initial thought was that it had to be Josh Brolin all the way. However I've had a rethink since I saw Prisoners. Josh Brolin is obviously right in the way he looks but can I say that he has portrayed the necessary emotion needed for the role? No. Not in any movie I've seen him in. Viggo Mortensen would be great, but it's too close to The Road. Now Hugh Jackman... After seeing Prisoners, I think he fits the role nicely. This movie will need a big acting name attached to it to succeed, like World War Z did (you can argue the merits of WWZ but it was a commercial success). More

Posted by Jimmyduudah on Tuesday March 11, 2014, 21:29

40 Paddy Considine!
Paddy Considine is the spitting image of Joel! More

Posted by DeadlyAvenger on Tuesday March 11, 2014, 21:27

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