Despite Pedro Pascal now being engrained into the minds of millions as the live-action Joel from HBO’s live-action series adaptation of The Last of Us. It has now been revealed that another star almost landed the part instead.
Showrunner Craig Mazin has revealed that Matthew McConaughey could have potentially gotten the part instead. That’s right, The Last of Us almost went a completely different direction in terms of one out of two of its main stars.
See what Craig Mazin had to say about McConaughey below.
Matthew McConaughey Was Almost Joel
While talking to Josh Horowitz on his Happy Sad Confused podcast, Mazin said that the Interstellar actor was considered to star as the live-action Joel. While also confirming that Pascal was always on their list of names for the role.
Mazin also confirmed that he had talked to McConaughey about the part. “I can’t say that it was serious,” Mazin told Horowitz as he explained that “it was more of just like, ‘Hey, here’s something we can talk about.’”
“It’s one of those things where I’m sure there’s an alternate universe where it’s a different guy (…) Look, Matthew McConaughey is an amazing actor, I’m sure it would’ve been great, but it would’ve been different and I like the one that we made.”Craig Mazin
Mahershala Ali Was Also Considered
While revealing this new information about the HBO adaptation of the popular video game. Mahershala Ali‘s name was also dropped as somebody who was also on the above-mentioned list of names to star as Joel in The Last of Us series.
However, Mazin said that he had “actually never talked to Mahershala” unlike how he had conversations with McConaughey. Ali has already signed on to star as Blade in the Marvel Cinematic Universe meaning the two schedules may have eventually clashed.
Pedro Pascal Almost Wasn’t Joel
As many will know by now, Pascal managed to land the role alongside Bella Ramsey’s Ellie in HBO’s The Last of Us live-action series.
But it was almost a close call as creators Mazin and Druckmann were first told that Pascal was unavailable. This may most likely have been due to his role as Din Djarin in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian.
“We were told he was unavailable, and then as we were floundering about a little bit, I got a call from his agent who said, ‘You know, he actually might be available…
Normally when you send scripts to actors like this, you’re lucky if you get a read within a month, he was in England at the time working a movie and I thought between the movie and the time change, this will be forever.”Craig Mazin
Pascal has been extremely vocal as to how he found out about the role. Revealing in the past that he had actually never heard of the original games before. One thing that convinced him more than anything was his nephew’s excitement about the idea. Something that seemingly convinced Pascal to go for it with open arms.
Mazin had nothing but high praise about how fast Pascal and his team responded to the call. Stating that “normally when you send scripts to actors like this, you’re lucky if you get a read within a month.”
“He was in England at the time working a movie and I thought between the movie and the time change, this will be forever.
I sent it on a Friday. Saturday morning I get a call: ‘He loves it. He wants to get a Zoom.’”Craig Mazin
The Last of Us has been officially renewed for a second season. It’s potential that it will end after two seasons unless HBO and the show’s team plan on dragging it out longer. It’s also possible that the show will overtake the game series, storywise.
Source: Happy Sad Confused Podcast