3. Kiefer Sutherland
The chief concept of Joel, a man who has survived the ongoing erosion of society over the course of twenty years, is that he is too tired to be afraid anymore. He's seen it all. His soul is weathered. And Sutherland would be a perfect fit for the role for this very reason. Both onscreen and off, Kiefer has endured a lot of miles. His increasingly creaky action machine Jack Bauer on "24," while once a simple family man with a rough job, inevitably became the shadowy, coarse, broken shell that Joel is by the time he meets Ellie. And Sutherland himself has had real trouble, with his career stalling after a stint in jail over some DUI charges and not much choice but to go back to "24" despite clear signs he was done with it.
Kiefer Sutherland is a good actor. He's able to take a simple role and lend real gravity to it, even in such lightweight fare like Stand By Me and The Three Musketeers. And if there's one thing he has going for him that few do, he's videogame-friendly. He's voiced over a dozen game characters outside the 24 franchise, and would likely take on the project with more dignity than any Gerard Butler type.