Nick Offerman as Deputy Chief Hardy in 21 Jump Street, Bill in The Last of Us.Image: Columbia, MGM, Naughty Dog
Though The Last of Us follows Joel and Ellie as the pair fight to survive a zombie apocalypse, the story in both the original video game and HBO’s upcoming adaptation introduces a variety of other characters with drastically different motivations and outlooks on the rise of the infected. Small as those supporting characters’ roles might seem in the story, many of them end up having outsized impacts on the trajectories’ of Ellie and Joel’s futures.
One of those characters, Bill, a survivalist holed up in a town all by himself, was set to be played in HBO’s The Last of Us by The Batman’s Con O’Neill, but an unforeseen scheduling conflict has led to a last-minute casting change. Deadline reports that Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, Fargo) has replaced O’Neill as The Last of Us’ Bill alongside The White Lotus’ Murray Bartlett, who will portray Bill’s partner Frank. In the game, Joel and Ellie stumble into Bill’s town while searching for a working vehicle, and witness firsthand what living in a deserted town virtually all by one’s self does to a person.
Bill and Frank’s story brought a surprising amount of emotional gravity to The Last of Us as video game characters, and it’s good to see that HBO’s adaptation is carrying them over. What remains to be seen, though, is how closely Frank and Bill’s arcs match their video game counterparts, or whether this new The Last of Us will make some different choices.
The Last of Us is currently in production, and the show is set to premiere on HBO some time in 2022.
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