In somewhat surprising news, The last of us video game voice actor Merle Dandridge will reprise her role for the upcoming adaptation of the TV series in the works at HBO. Developed by game developer Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin, the series is said to be a rather faithful adaptation of the award-winning video game. Several cast members have already been announced, but Dandridge is the first to play a role originally portrayed in the game.
Dandridge will return in the role of Merle Dandridge, the head of the fireflies. It’s the character she voiced in the 2014 video game, along with its 2020 sequel, The Last of Us Part II. Other cast members also announced include Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) as Joel, Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones) as Ellie and Gabriel Luna (Terminator: Dark Fate) as Joel’s brother Tommy. Both Pascal and Ramsey played popular roles Game of Thronesalthough their characters did not share the screen at any point.
“HBO has been great in forcing us to move away from hardcore action and focus more on the character’s drama. Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can’t wait for people see them, ”Druckmann said of the series at SXSW 2021, per Collider.
The TV series is expected to feature a similar story to the video game. In The last of usSet 20 years after the fall of modern civilization as a result of a zombie-like viral outbreak, a hardened smuggler is hired to guide a teenage girl named Ellie through a dangerous wasteland. The nature of Joel’s mission changes when he discovers the true reason why he was tasked with smuggling the teen, and when the two bond, they begin to rely on each other to survive.
Kantemir Balagov will be the pilot episode of The last of us with Jasmila Zbanic and Ali Abbas also serving as directors. Druckmann and Mazin will also executive produce alongside Carolyn Strauss, Naughty Dog president Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan of PlayStation Productions, as well as Rose Lam. The series is a joint collaboration between Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint and Naughty Dog, who developed the original video game exclusively for PlayStation platforms.
The last of us video game players know Dandridge well for her role as Marlene, and she has lent her voice to a variety of other video games, including roles in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Dota 2, and Half-life 2. She also won a BAFTA Game award for her performance as Katherine Collines in Everyone went to the recording. On the live-action side, Dandridge recently appeared on the hit HBO series The stewardess with Kaley Cuoco and has other roles in it Murphy Brown, The night shift, and Crossed with a star.
Last year, HBO The last of us a serial order. While it’s clear production is going pretty well now, it’s unclear when the show is expected to premiere on HBO. This news comes from Deadline.
Subjects: The Last of Us