Nick Offerman, actor, woodsman, and grower of immaculate beards, has officially been cast as Bill in HBO’s upcoming adaptation of The Last of Us.
Offerman’s casting as Bill comes due to Chernobyl actor Con O’Neill bowing out of the role because of scheduling conflicts, according to Variety. But when a door closes, a window opens, and now it’s hard to imagine the role of Naughty Dog’s zombie apocalypse curmudgeon not being portrayed by Offerman.
Offerman is most famous for playing Ron Swanson in NBC’s mockumentary sitcom Parks and Recreation, a role which serves as the perfect audition tape for Bill. Offerman’s dry humor and imposing demeanor throughout the Emmy-nominated show’s seven seasons make his casting as Joel’s begrudging zombie apocalypse buddy feel like a no-brainer. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the actor is a real-life craftsman, albeit of the woodworking sort, probably not constructing the kinds of brutal mechanical booby traps with which Bill surrounds himself in The Last of Us.
Murray Bartlett, the actor who will be playing Bill’s lover Frank, seems to also share in the excitement of Offerman’s casting. In an interview with The Guardian, the Chernobyl actor talked about his time filming the show in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and said that playing off Offerman “was awesome.” Seeing as how Frank is never seen (alive) in the game and is only mentioned through conversations and journal entries, it will be great to see how the two interact with each other in the series.
Offerman joins other Hollywood actors like The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal and Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey, who will portray Joel and Ellie. The HBO series’ cast also includes some actors from the game. Merle Dandridge will reprise her role as Firefly commander Marlene. And although actor Gabriel Luna will be portraying Joel’s brother Tommy in the series, Jeffrey Pierce, who played Tommy in the game, has been recast as a new character called Perry.
The HBO series is being written and executive produced by Chernobyl writer Craig Mazin and TLoU director Neil Druckmann. Broadly speaking, the series seems like an adaptation of the events of the first game, though writer Mazin promises that the series will not be a “beat-for-beat re-telling of the game” according to GameSpot. There’s still no expected release date for HBO’s adaptation, so we’ll have to fill our time by making memes of Bill cracking Ron Swanson jokes. I’m sure Ellie would appreciate that.