HBO‘s upcoming adaptation of Naughty Dog‘s beloved video game The Last of Us has officially cast the actors that will be playing the characters of Henry and Sam. The two brothers will be played by Lamar Johnson, portraying the older Henry, while Keivonn Woodard will be Sam. The news of the casting comes from IGN, who also notes the characters of Henry and Sam will have some major differences when compared to their video game counterparts.
Players of the post-apocalypse title will remember that Joel and Ellie meet the two survivors in Pittsburgh and come together in order to survive the roaming group of hunters that have taken over the city. The show’s version of Henry and Sam are found in Kansas City, with it being said in the official description of the two characters (provided by IGN) that they are “hiding from a revolutionary movement seeking vengeance.” In the original game, Henry was voiced by Brandon Scott while Sam was voiced by Nadji Jeter. In addition to this casting, it was also revealed that Graham Greene and Elaine Miles will guest star as Marlon and Florence. If these two characters don’t sound familiar, don’t worry, they shouldn’t. They are two wholly original characters that will be making their debut in the series. The duo are described, per IGN, as a “married couple surviving alone in the wilderness of post-apocalyptic Wyoming.”
These changes and new characters should not be any surprise to people that have followed the development of the show, which is poised to be a retelling of the original 2013 game’s story with changes found throughout. While we do not know how much of the story will be different, an interview will Bella Ramsey, who will star in the series as Ellie alongside Padro Pascal‘s Joel, did confirm that the show “explores different avenues” from the games while also honoring the original work and hitting the major emotional beats.
Sony’s previous video game-based film adaptation was the Tom Holland-starring rendition of fellow Naughty Dog series Uncharted, which saw the MCU star step into the weathered shoes of series protagonist Nathan Drake with Mark Wahlberg playing his friend and mentor, Victor Sullivan. These two adaptations of just some of the many planned adaptations that Sony is aiming to make based on their popular video game IPs. The company revealed in a Corporate Strategy meeting back in May 2021 that they plan to develop10 adaptations of their games for TV and film, Joining The Last of Us and Uncharted are the Ghost of Tsushima film by John Wick director Chad Stahelski and a Twisted Metal series at Peacock, with more projects yet to be announced.
Johnson, Woodard, Greene, and Miles join Ramsey and Pascal on the cast for the upcoming series which will also feature Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Joel’s younger brother and a former soldier as well as Storm Reid as Riley, Ellie’s close friend from before she meets Joel. Nick Offerman, Anna Torv, Merle Dandrige, Nico Parker, Gabriel Luna, Jeffrey Pierce, and Murray Bartlett have also been announced for the series. Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson, and Jeffrey Pierce, voice talent from the original game for Joel, Ellie, and Tommy, respectively, will also appear in the series adaptation. The series is developed by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, and produced by Sony Pictures, PlayStation Productions, Naughty Dog, The Mighty Mint, and Word Games.
The Last of Us is expected to release on HBO and HBO Max in 2023.