In a move that has come to be expected of any major Hollywood production in the modern era, HBO has revealed that Joel Miller’s daughter, Sarah, will be race-swapped for their upcoming live-action adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us video game series.

Sarah (Hana Hayes) receives a frantic phone call from her Uncle Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce) in The Last of Us (2013), Naughty Dog via YouTube

Sarah (Hana Hayes) receives a frantic phone call from her Uncle Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce) in The Last of Us (2013), Naughty Dog via YouTube

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The daughter of Joel and a woman whose identity has yet to be revealed within canon, Sarah is one of the very first characters to be introduced in The Last of Us, co-starring alongside her father in the first chapter of the original game before falling victim to a stray gunshot during the chaos that explodes in the wake of the Cordyceps brain infection’s initial outbreak.

Joel Miller (Troy Baker) seeks medical assistance for his daughter Sarah (Hana Hayes) during the events of Outbreak Day in The Last of Us (2013), Naughty Dog via YouTube

Joel Miller (Troy Baker) and his daughter Sarah (Hana Hayes) are stopped by the military during the events of Outbreak Day in The Last of Us (2013), Naughty Dog via YouTube

Originally depicted by the developers at Naughty Dog as having white skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair, ostensibly due to the fact that depicting any character with this combination of traits is all it takes to draw accusations of racism from terminally online Twitter users, Sarah will look quite different when she makes the jump to the small screen.

As revealed by a new set of promotional character posters released by HBO on December 1st, upon her live-action debut, Sarah will be portrayed by actress Nico Parker.

Nico Parker is Sarah in HBO's The Last of Us (2023) via HBO

Nico Parker is Sarah in HBO’s The Last of Us (2023) via HBO

RELATED: ‘The Last Of Us’ HBO Star Bella Ramsey Reveals She Was “Encouraged Not To Play The Game” Before Filming

The daughter of Ticket to Paradise director Oliver Parker and Solo: A Star Wars Story actress Thandiwe Newton, Parker’s role in The Last of Us will mark her fourth major acting role, having previously appeared in Disney’s live-action remake of Dumbo, the lukewarm Hugh Jackman action outing Reminiscence, and HBO’s The Third Day miniseries.

Milly Farrier (Nico Parker) introduces herself to Dumbo in Dumbo (2019), Disney via Blu-ray

Milly Farrier (Nico Parker) introduces herself to Dumbo in Dumbo (2019), Disney via Blu-ray

Notably, Sarah is not the only The Last of Us character – or Miller family member, for that matter – to undergo a race-swap at the hands of HBO.

Thanks to their respective castings as Joel and his brother Tommy, The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s resident Ghost Rider actor Gabriel Luna will give the originally white characters a new Latin bent.

Gabriel Luna is Tommy in HBO’s The Last of Us (2023) via HBO

Of course, HBO’s disregard for the original game comes as no surprise in light of the pre-filming advice given to Ellie actress Bella Ramsey by the network’s production staff.

Asked by the USA Today in early October if she had “played the game at all before signing on”, Ramsey admitted, “I was actually encouraged not to.”

“After my first audition, they asked me, ‘Have you played it?’ And I said, ‘Nope,’ and they said, ‘Keep it that way,’” she playfully explained. “[But] I did watch some of the game play on YouTube just to get a sense of it.”

Bella Ramsey is Ellie in HBO’s The Last of Us (2023) via HBO

HBO’s take on The Last of Us is currently set to premiere on January 15th, 2023.

Pedro Pascal is Joel in HBO’s The Last of Us (2023) via HBO

NEXT: ‘The Last Of Us’ Star Pedro Pascal Says He “Wanted To Create A Healthy Distance” Between Live-Action Series And Original Game

  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.

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