Next month, we’ll get to see how Pedro Pascal does playing the role of Joel in the TV series based on the hit video game The Last of Us, which is set to premiere on HBO on January 15th. But during a recent convention appearance, Jensen Ackles – who played the role of Dean Winchester on fifteen seasons of the show Supernatural and was recently seen as Soldier Boy in season 3 of The Boys – revealed that he had been “pushing hard” to be cast as Joel before Pascal signed on.
As seen in the Twitter embed below, Ackles said, “I was really kind of pushing hard, but I don’t think I was really in the mix or even had a shot at it, for Pedro Pascal’s role in The Last of Us. That was high up on my radar.“
The story of the The Last of Us video game is set years after a fungal plague wiped out much of humanity, transforming most into vicious zombie-like monsters, the story follows Joel, who’s living in a militarized quarantine zone. He has a close relationship with Tess, who operates in the black market of this community. Together, they’ve become known by the local criminal underworld for their ruthlessness. On a mission to reclaim their stolen guns, they run into the leader of the Fireflies, a resistance group, who tasks them with smuggling a young girl named Ellie out of the zone. This mission soon becomes much more than they were prepared for.
The cast of HBO’s The Last of Us includes Pedro Pascal as Joel, who is “tormented by past trauma and failure. He must trek across a pandemic-ravaged America, all the while protecting a girl who represents the last hope of humanity”; Bella Ramsey as Ellie, “a 14-year-old orphan who has never known anything but a ravaged planet and who struggles to balance her instinct for anger and defiance with her need for connection and belonging… as well as the newfound reality that she may be the key to saving the world”; Anna Torv as Tess, “a smuggler and hardened survivor in a post-pandemic world”; Gabriel Luna as Joel’s brother Tommy, “a former soldier who hasn’t lost his sense of idealism and hope for a better world”; Merle Dandridge as Marlene, “the head of the Fireflies, a resistance movement struggling for freedom against an oppressive military regime”; Nico Parker as Joel’s daughter Sarah; Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, “a rebel in a quarantine zone”; Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett as Bill and Frank, “two post-pandemic survivalists living alone in their own isolated town”; and Storm Reid as Ellie’s best friend Riley.
The show’s writer Craig Mazin is also one of the directors on the series, as are Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole), Jasmila Zbanic (Quo vadis, Aida), Peter Hoar (Doctor Who), Jeremy Webb (The Punisher), Liza Johnson (What We Do in the Shadows), and the game’s creative director Neil Druckmann.
The Last of Us is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and game developer Naughty Dog. Druckmann serves as executive producer alongside Carolyn Strauss, Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan of PlayStation Productions, and Mazin.
As a Supernatural fan, I’m much more familiar with the work of Jensen Ackles than I am with the work of Pedro Pascal, so I do think it would have been cool to see Ackles take on the role of Joel. But I have enjoyed the Pascal performances I have seen as well, so I look forward to seeing what he’ll be doing on The Last of Us.
What do you think of the idea of Jensen Ackles playing Joel? Let us know by leaving a comment below.