Pedro Pascal's Last of Us: HBO Series Adds Oscar-Nominated Director

By Tom Drew Updated:
The Last of Us HBO Pedro Pascal

Following the critical and commercial success of its video game installments, The Last of Us is making the jump to television with an HBO series.

HBO did not have to look too far to find its leading stars, as two Game of Thrones alums will be portraying the lead characters. The Mandalorian 's Pedro Pascal joined the cast as Joel, once again playing a father-figure role . Bella Ramsey will be playing Ellie , completing the duo that made fans fall in love with the original game's story.

The characters' original voice actors had nothing but praise for the casting choices, with Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson both commending the picks on social media . It seems that The Last of Us will be quite a departure from the original narrative in some respects, with Gabriel Luna's casting as Tommy signalling an exciting new direction for the show.

With several key cast members lined up, the HBO series has now found two directors to head the show from behind the scenes...


Variety has reported that HBO's The Last of Us has brought on Jasmila Žbanić - whose film Quo Vadis, Aida? was recently nominated at the Academy Awards for "Best International Feature Film" - and Ali Abbasi as the series' directors.

The directors join the ever-growing production, which stars Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, and Gabriel Luna as Joel, Ellie, and Tommy, respectively. Kantemir Balagov will be directing the pilot episode of the series.


For some, The Last of Us ' HBO show could be a potential worry, with there being the possibility that the series could follow the original game's narrative too closely.

With the production choosing to bring two relatively unknown directors who have yet to dip their toes into big blockbuster-scale stories, it seems that these concerns can be quelled. The decision to go with unknowns should indicate that the two directors will bring new and unique ideas to the production.

Žbanić's Quo Vadis, Aida? appears to follow the journey of refugees in a war drama narrative, sharing similar themes to The Last of Us ' tale of traversing the country in spite of the surrounding horrors.

Abbasi's film Border , which won the Un Certain Regard award at the Cannes Film Festival, also features ideas present in The Last of Us. The film centers around an unlikely pairing whose bond slowly grows as the film progresses, a similar set up to Joel and Ellie's relationship in the first game.

With both directors already having explored similar ideas to The Last of Us in their previous works, Žbanić and Abbasi seem to be perfect choices to reimagine the series' story while staying true to what made the original narrative so compelling.

- About The Author: Tom Drew
Tom Drew is the Executive Editor at The Direct. Tom writes for The Direct's Marvel, Star Wars, and DC branches while specializing in all things movies, from blockbuster to indie darlings.