6. Maisie Williams
This is kind of a no-brainer, and I'm not alone in that diagnosis. Folks involved with the project have mentioned her, and Williams herself has expressed enthusiasm for playing Ellie. It's a role that she has been trained expertly to play.
Once merely the child picked to play plucky Arya Stark on "Game of Thrones," Williams and her role have evolved into one of the most three-dimensional personalities to ever come out of a purely fantasy setting. She's able to portray Arya as a moral hero while also balancing the post-traumatic bloodlust and aristocratic smugness that the character has built. Arya is still presented as a child by the show, while Williams has actually grown into a confident adult performer. That's the type of convincing that you cannot bottle.
The similarities between Williams' work and the character of Ellie aside, there's also the matter of Ellie being used as a narrative device. Because she may be immune to the infection, she's simultaneously the second lead character and the MacGuffin that launches the plot. Williams can keep the character from becoming a tool. Though her current gig often thrusts her into situations where her character's identity or vulnerability prop up the plot, never does Williams rely on the mere application of fear or hate or naivet, that are expected of a child actor.
Agree? Disagree? More ideas? Let us know in the comments.