Nico Parker, the breakout star of Disney’s Dumbo, has joined HBO’s series adaptation of the hit video game, The Last of Us. Written and produced by Chernobyl creator, Craig Mazin, and The Last of Us creative director, Neil Druckmann, the show will take place in the aftermath of society’s downfall. Set in 2033, protagonist Joel is tasked with rescuing 14-year-old Ellie as they trek across the country and fight for survival.
After plans originally fell through for a film adaptation, Sony announced The Last of Us would be heading to HBO as a series. The survival-horror game, which quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, was released in 2013 by development studio, Naughty Dog. In The Last of Us, tough-guy survivor, Joel Miller, is hired to smuggle Ellie out of a high security Quarantine Zone after civilization collapsed due to the spread of a deadly brain infection. Doctors believe that Ellie, who is immune, may be the cure to the plague. The pair travels from the East coast to the ruins of what was once Salt Lake City, running into cannibals, hunters, bandits, and other enemy survival groups along the way.
Co-starring alongside The Mandalorian‘s Pedro Pascal (Joel) and Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey (Ellie), it was confirmed today Parker will play Joel’s daughter, Sarah, in a report from Deadline. Sarah, who Joel had in his late teens, is 12-years-old when the outbreak first hits their home in Texas. In the 20 years since losing his daughter, Joel is still struggling to cope with the loss, and refuses to speak about her.
Parker’s first big role was in the 2019 live-action remake of Disney’s Dumbo. In the film, she appears in a lead role as Milly Farrier, the daughter of a circus worker who’s tasked with looking after Dumbo. More recently, Parker starred in the HBO thriller miniseries, The Third Day, alongside Jude Law. She’s the daughter of English film director, Ol Parker, writer of 2018’s Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and Emmy Award-winning actress, Thandiwe Newton.
The Last of Us series includes executive producers Carolyn Strauss, Rose Lam, and Evan Wells, with Kantemir Balagov, Jasmila Žbanić, and Ali Abbas set to direct. As of now, the show is filming in Calgary, Canada, and has plans to wrap shooting by June 2022. With such a long shoot, fans can only wonder what to expect from the series. The show’s creators have made it evident that the HBO series will deviate from some parts of the video game and want the show to replicate the “intimacy” found in that of an indie movie. After The Last of Us film was scrapped, it will be interesting to see what parts of the original script—and the video game itself—the show’s creators will decide to integrate into the series. There’s not much known about The Last of Us series as of yet, and unfortunately for those eager to watch, the wait might be upwards of 2 years. But, despite however long the show might take to hit HBO, fans of the game can rest easy knowing an all-star cast and reputable writers/producers are working behind the scenes to bring viewers what is hopefully, an epic step for video game/TV show adaptations.