The Last Of Us TV Series May Have Quietly Cast Nick Offerman

HBO's "The Last of Us" series adapts the acclaimed post-apocalyptic video games developed by Naughty Dog, with the games' creative director, Neil Druckmann, serving as co-showrunner alongside writer-producer Craig Mazin ("Chernobyl"). Yet, as visually faithful as the show is shaping up to be, it's also clear this won't be a beat-for-beat re-telling in terms of story. Season 1 alone will feature such original additions as Perry, a rebel played by Tommy's voice actor from the games, Jeffrey Pierce. Natasha Mumba ("Y: The Last Man") and Brad Leland ("Friday Night Lights") are similarly playing characters who were likely created for the series to aid with its world-building and help flesh out plot points that were only briefly touched upon in its source material.

"The Last of Us" also looks to include beefed-up roles for minor characters from the games like Frank, a survivalist who relayed the story of his relationship with his ex-partner, Bill, through a letter he wrote. Murray Bartlett ("The White Lotus") and Con O'Neill ("Chernobyl") are portraying Frank and Bill in HBO's show — although Bartlett has now gone and, unexpectedly, indicated that Nick Offerman, aka Ron Swanson himself, plays a key role in this particular subplot.

Parks & Recreation: The Later Years

In an interview with The Guardian (via Games Radar+), Bartlett confirmed he filmed "a lot" of his scenes for "The Last of Us" with Offerman, adding, "Playing off him was awesome." Given that Bill is the only other major player in Frank's story from the games, it seems that Offerman could be portraying an original third wheel in the pair's bad bromance. (Without getting too deep into spoilers for those unfamiliar with the games, let's just say this subplot isn't a happy one — like most story threads in "The Last of Us" games.)

Of course, if ever there were an appropriate addition to the "Last of Us" cast, it's the actor who played the lovably grumpy survivalist and devoted libertarian Ron Swanson across all seven seasons (and one Covid special) of the beloved government workplace mockumentary "Parks and Recreation." Perhaps in some alternate universe where WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal agreed to share their IPs, Offerman is literally reprising Ron Swanson on "The Last of Us," and it turns out the HBO's series takes place in a future where the Cordyceps fungus outbreak began in Pawnee, Indiana (which, honestly, would be perfectly on-brand for the town's residents). Alas, we don't live in that reality.

Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal are playing the orphaned Ellie and her tetchy guardian Joel in "The Last of Us," which looks to arrive on HBO in 2022.