Why Pedro Pascal Replaced Troy Baker As Joel in HBO’s The Last of Us

The Last of Us Joel Troy Baker Pedro Pascal

The Last of Us writer and director Neil Druckmann reveals why the team decided to cast Pedro Pascal as Joel over original voice actor Troy Baker.

The Last of Us writer and director Neil Druckmann revealed why the team cast Pedro Pascal over voice actor Troy Baker as Joel in the HBO adaptation.

While discussing the new series on HBO with Buzzfeed, Druckmann revealed why HBO’s The Last of Us didn’t bring back Baker to reprise his role from the game. “The unique thing about video games is you don’t need to look the part,” Druckmann explained. “Which is why Ashley Johnson, when she was 27, was able to play a 14-year-old girl [Ellie]. Troy Baker at the time was this tall, skinny, bleached-hair hipster — but then when he spoke and moved, he became the role. That’s why we couldn’t cast those same people into these roles for the show, but they were instrumental in bringing those characters to life.”

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Is Troy Baker in The Last Of Us Show?

A trailer for The Last of Us in December 2022 revealed that Baker would appear in the adaptation, though his exact role remains unconfirmed. Fans speculated that he would play either David, the preacher leader of a group of cannibals Ellie encounters during the Winter chapter of the game, or one of his accomplices. Others theorized he might play James, David’s right-hand man.

Besides playing a role in the HBO adaptation, Baker hosts a new companion podcast. The Last of Us Podcast features conversations between Baker, TV creator Craig Mazin and Druckmann discussing “their personal relationships to the iconic game, their experience in adapting it for television, and behind-the-scenes stories.”

RELATED: Last of Us’ Troy Baker Says You Don’t Need the Game to Enjoy the HBO Show

Ashley Johnson Returns in HBO’s The Last of Us

Johnson also appeared in the trailer, albeit briefly. Like Baker, The Last of Us has not confirmed who she’ll play in the HBO adaptation. However, the image of her holding a baby in the trailer led many to guess she might play Ellie’s mom, Anna, who died shortly after the birth of her daughter. Druckmann recently confirmed that The Last of Us show would reveal her mother’s story, something they could not fit into the game. The writer confirmed that the team had even considered telling Anna’s story as an animated short or a DLC, but Naughty Dog ultimately scrapped those ideas.

The Last of Us Season 1 is currently streaming on HBO and HBO Max, with new episodes airing every Sunday.

Source: Buzzfeed


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