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This ‘The Last Of Us’ Character Is For Sure Going To Make Us Sob

Murray Bartlett in The White Lotus

TW: Mentions of self-harm and suicide.

When casting was announced for the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us, one that shocked fans was that of Murray Bartlett as Frank. Not because Bartlett is undeserving, but because we didn’t really get to see Frank alive in the game. Casting a pretty big name like Murray Bartlett to the series is a strange choice.

While we don’t know how much this could change in the show, let’s get into what happens with Frank in the game. Frank is Bill’s partner, a man Joel and Ellie meet on their journey to the Fireflies who has a whole town to himself. They eventually leave Bill and continue their journey and we don’t know what happens to Bill from that point. Frank however…well, he’s dead.

He gets infected and hangs himself to avoid his fate. What’s more, he doesn’t end his relationship and life with Bill on the best of terms. In the game, Joel finds a letter that Frank left for Bill that says he hates his guts because of the way Bill survived this life (in such strict isolation) and thus their relationship is rather tragic.

Spending all those years with someone and then leaving and telling them you hate them? It’s hard to unpack, but it’s why Bill and Frank are two characters that really stand out in The Last of Us gameplay. With Bartlett playing Frank and Nick Offerman playing Bill, we can expect some excellent and likely heartwrenching performances.

All this to say though that Frank is not really in the game. His story is and we learn about him and his relationship but we don’t get to see him alive and well with Bill.

What role will Frank play in The Last Of Us?

Honestly, I don’t know. I assumed a flashback of some kind or maybe a change to the arc of Frank where he meets them uninfected. For fans of the game, we have only known a world with Frank where he ends up sick and commits suicide to avoid turning into a clicker.

It seems unlikely they’d get Bartlett for so small a part, so it’ll be interesting to see where they take Frank’s story. Until we know more, we hope that Offerman and Bartlett have some on-screen time to flex their acting skills.

(image: HBO)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.