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The Last Of Us Was Almost An Animated TV Show

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Actor Jeffrey Pierce, who voiced Joel's brother Tommy in both Last of Us Games, has revealed that at one point, Naughty Dog considered adapting its franchise as a "cinematic animated series."

Speaking with The Direct, Jeffrey Pierce revealed that The Last of Us had come a long way before being adapted as a live-action TV show smash hit at HBO. In the actor's words, the franchise just as well could've been adapted as a full-fledged movie, or even as an animated TV series akin to Dragon Age: Absolution, Dota: Dragon's Blood, or Arcane.

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"There have been a couple of different iterations over time. There was a movie at one point. There was a motion-capture cinematic animated series at one point," Pierce said. "Both of those are things that I thought, 'I got a pretty good shot at being involved to some degree'."

jeffrey pierce as perry standing with his automatic rifle towards the camera
Jeffrey Pierce As Perry

As it turns out, the actor had his doubts about being cast in The Last of Us live-action adaptation, but was counting on playing Tommy again if the creators would choose to stick with the animated version. In the end, we got the HBO show, and Pierce still managed to appear on-screen as the supporting character Perry from Kansas City. Although considering his fate, it's unlikely that he'll return in future episodes.

Naturally, it is pretty hard now to imagine The Last of Us as anything other than the ongoing show, in part due to the original's gripping and grounded setting, as well as the human drama at its very core. Despite the show itself not caring too much for realism, live-action still feels like a natural choice for delivering some of the strongest performances on television right now.

During the same interview, Jeffrey Pierce also confirmed that Green Book's Mahershala Ali was almost cast as Joel in The Last of Us instead of Pedro Pascal, as earlier rumors from 2021 suggested. Pascal eventually took over, with his performance often being considered by fans as one of the best parts of this adaptation.

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