The Last of Us creators had to make Pedro Pascal’s Joel softer than in the games

The Last of Us looks a lot like the video game that inspired it, but don’t mistake that for damning it with faint praise. The HBO series’ weathered apocalyptic look is often lifted straight from a game known for looking cinematic and full even at its most ruthless and brutal. Everything is captured with excruciating detail, including Joel, played now by Pedro Pascal. But in The Last of Us TV show, Joel isn’t quite the man he was — and that’s by design.

Some of that is just practical: As part of translating the game to TV, co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann had to update the ways in which Joel was
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