The creators of The Last Of Us have opened up about one of the most important decisions when it comes to casting for season two after many fans questioned whether Ellie would be re-cast considering the time jump.
Now, ever since The Last Of Us first hit our screens, fans have been praising the show for everything from its writing to the world-class performances from its cast.
At the start of the year, audiences were first introduced to the HBO Max series, which is the first live-action adaptation since the video game wowed audiences way back in 2013.
Just like the games, the series is set in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by an unstoppable, brain-eating, fungal outbreak that transforms humans into cannibals.
Per Deadline, the show’s first 2 episodes were viewed by over twenty million people, making it HBO’s fourth current show to average over fifteen million viewers, and now we’re on the sixth episode and it’s only growing.
It’s no wonder that they’ve already renewed it for a second season!
The writers have been commended for honouring the original source material, which rapidly gathered a devoted fan base when it first came out. The engaging storylines, impressive visuals, and music propelled it to its massive success.
For those who haven’t watched the show, Joel, portrayed by Pedro Pascal, is a ruthless smuggler who is responsible for transporting the young teen Ellie Williams (Bella Ramsey) to a medical facility situated on the opposite side of the country after it turns out she’s immune to the infection, leading him to believe she could hold the cure to the deadly parasite.
The Last of Us premiered back on January 15, and has been met with rave reviews from both critics and fans, resulting in an unbelievable score of 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes when it first hit screens.
The first season was a huge hit with critics, but despite this there was one aspect of the show that frustrated fans. Dozens have commented on the lack of infected, and how they felt the episode was a slow burn rather than the grand conclusion they were expecting.
But it has since been announced that season 2 will feature a lot more of both…
Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann opened up about what we can expect in a recent virtual press conference, sharing that “ultimately, we generally stressed the power of relationships and trying to find significance within moments of action,” Mazin said.
“And so there may be less action than some people wanted because we couldn’t necessarily find significance for quite a bit of it, or [there was] concern that it would be repetitive.
He added: “After all, you’re not playing it, you’re watching it. And although a lot of people do like to watch gameplay, it needs to be a little more focused and purposeful when we’re putting it on TV.”
They’ve also addressed the decision to keep Bella Ramsay on as Ellie despite concerns that she will look too young for the time jump in season two.
As fans of the game will already be aware, the time jump will see Ellie go from a fourteen-year-old to a nineteen-year-old, but Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann are keen to stick with Ramsey.
Mazin told Entertainment Weekly: “One of the things about the casting process that’s tough is that we invite people to join us on this process, and we know everything [about the secrets of the production] and nobody else knows anything except what they know, which is the game.
“We know what we’re gonna do in terms of costume and makeup and hair, but more importantly, we also know the spirit and soul of the actor.
“Sometimes it will be radically different, and sometimes it will be [barely] different at all. But it’s going to be different and it will be its own thing.”
He added: “It won’t be exactly like the game,” but said that “It will be the show that Neil and I want to make – but we are making it with Bella.”
Druckmann further confirmed this while in conversation with The Wrap.
“We are extremely lucky to have Bella… and the only way we would ever consider recasting Bella is if she said, ‘I don’t want to work with you guys anymore,’” he said. “And even then, we’re not sure we would grant her that. We might force her to come back this season.”
This comes as a great relief to fans, who were concerned that Ramsey might get recast as a result of the 5 year time jump between the storylines of the first and second games.