The Last Of Us star Pedro Pascal says he “wanted to create a healthy distance” between the live-action series and the original game

The usual red flags have started to fly for HBO’s upcoming live-action adaptation of The Last Of Us, as series star Pedro Pascal has revealed that not only has he not engaged with Naughty Dog’s original works , but that he also “wanted to create a healthy distance” between his portrayal of protagonist Joel Miller and the character’s video game counterpart.

Source: The Last of Us II (2020), Naughty Dog

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The Mandalorian star opened up about his upcoming role in The Last of Us during a recent interview with GQ given in promotion of his latest project, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, in which he stars as a massive super-fan of Nicolas Cage whose invitation to the actor on his birthday sets the events of the star’s parody-biographical movie in motion.

Credit: Jacob Scipio (“Carlos”, left) and Pedro Pascal (“Javi”, right) greet Nick Cage upon his arrival in Mallorca, Spain, in THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF HUGE TALENT Photo Credit: Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate

As the interview drew to a close, GQ contributor Jack King broached the topic of the upcoming video game series noting “I’m the biggest fan of The Last of Us,” to which Pascal said. answered: “Have you played the game? It’s so sad, I have no skills [to play it].”

“And then it was only a matter of minutes before I had to hand it over to my nephew,” he recalls. “It really takes a specific type of skill, and I don’t have that.”

Source: The Last of Us (2013), Naughty Dog

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When asked by King if he watched his nephew ‘play the whole game’ Pascal then admitted: ‘I watched as long as I could until that day and then I had to leave Florida. I found Joel so impressive – I found the whole of such an experience visually impressive.

“And then I got worried about wanting to imitate too much, which I think might be right in some circumstances and then wrong in others,” he added, moving to reflect on his process of character approach. “So I just wanted to create a healthy distance, and have it more in the hands of [show co-writer] Craig Mazin and [game writer and show co-writer] Neil Druckman.”

Source: The Last of Us II (2020), Naughty Dog

Taking note of Pascal’s admission that HBO’s take on the series would be intentionally separate from Naughty Dog’s original take, King asked “how well do you think the script fits the game”, prompting Pascal to fire the standard entertainment industry response regarding wildly faithless adaptations, “There’s a very, very creative way to honor what’s important and also to preserve what’s iconic to the video game experience, and also [to include] things you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

Source: The Last of Us II (2020), Naughty Dog

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“And then the directions you would expect, and maybe they won’t…they do some really smart stuff, that’s all I can say,” he continued. “It’s similar to how Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni treat The Mandalorian, in the way [Mazin and Druckmann] treat The Last of Us – it’s in good hands because they love it so much.

“Well, clearly Neil created the video game, but Craig loves it so much,” the actor concluded. “So it’s really made for people who love it. And there’s really intense storytelling for people who might be less familiar.

Source: The Last of Us II (2020), Naughty Dog

With similar answers given in response to similar questions from the perspective of live-action productions that bastardize source material like Paramount Plus’ Halo, Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop, and even Amazon’s Wheel of Time, fans of the Quest Joel and Ellie’s survival among the infected may be the next to see the stories and characters they love destroyed in a superficial attempt to reach a “wider audience.”

Source: The Last of Us II (2020), Naughty Dog

HBO’s The Last Of Us is currently set to premiere in 2023.

What do you think of Pascal’s insight into his portrayal of Joel Miller? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments below!

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