on Sep 24, 2014
When The Last of Us came out, actress Ellen Page accused the developer of ripping off her likeness. The similarity is pretty strong to me, but it was even more striking before the changes to the character’s face part way through development. Not only does that look like Ellen Page, but the voice is kind of similar as well: Both the actress and the character have that same middle-register, slightly rough voice that’s unusual for women. And of course the Ellen / Ellie thing didn’t really help Naughty Dog in their claims that the similarity was purely a coincidence.
The sad thing is that Ellen Page actually was starring in a videogame at the time this was going on. She appeared in Beyond: Two Souls, a game which didn’t do nearly as well. It was another adventure of the David Cage variety, and we all know how those games go. I’ve been saying that, “If your game is trying to be a movie, then Last of Us is how you need to do it.” Beyond (disclosure: I haven’t played it) is criticized for being the antithesis of this: It’s a game that’s low on gameplay and interactivity, and telling a story that’s muddled, meandering, cliche, nonsensical, and in no way good enough to stand up as a movie. Again, I haven’t played it, but having played through some of David Cage’s other work I’ll say that description sounds extremely plausible.
The whole situation is kind of screwed up. Imagine if someone had used CGI to rip off Bruce Willis in appearance and voice, and used their fake Willis to make the critically acclaimed Die Hard. And meanwhile the REAL Bruce Willis was starring in Hudson Hawk, which opened opposite of it.