Even before HBO announced that it’s developing a series for the the award-winning video game The Last of Us, fans have been feverishly hoping that Josh Brolin would play the main character Joel in an eventual adaptation of the post-apocalyptic adventure. And, now, Troy Baker, who voices Joel in the game and its sequel, is sharing his thoughts along with a surprising anecdote about how he personally pitched the character to Brolin just as first The Last of Us was getting ready to storm the gaming industry.
While sitting down with the Collider Games Podcast, Baker said that he hopes to see an actor who can take Joel to the next level, “What I’m excited about is finding someone that can give me a completely different side of Joel, and show me how far that character can stretch.” One of the actors he has in mind is Brolin, and Baker even went so far as to personally approach Thanos himself at the airport and tell him that if he ever gets the chance, take the part.
“I remember being at LAX [Airport] and Josh Brolin was there, we were in the lounge together, and I walked up. I was like, ‘Man, I doubt you remember this, but you and I were doing a movie.’ He was doing No Country [for Old Men], and I was doing a western. And I was like, ‘You and I met, we had drinks this one night, we had a good night.’ He was like, ‘I think I remember that,’ and I was like, ‘I doubt you do, because I know how much we all had to drink.’ I said, ‘There is a game that’s coming out. And I want you to know that, for me, so much of your work was very influential.’ And he really, really was. And I was like, ‘If you ever get the call for a character named Joel, I would be honored and I think you would be enriched to play that character.’”
Baker went on to call Brolin a “knockout choice” for Joel, but he also reiterated his stance that, more than anything, he just wants to see the character branch out in new directions. The Last of Us is currently in development for HBO from Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin.