The Last of Us season 2 has found its Abby in Kaitlyn Dever, confirming previous reports. In a tweet, HBO confirmed that the Booksmart star will be playing the second protagonist — some prefer seeing her as a villain — in the post-apocalyptic series, posing a new challenge to Ellie Williams (Bella Ramsey). Interestingly, Dever had a prior connection to the show when fans lobbied the studio to cast her as the 13-year-old Ellie, due to her facial resemblance to the in-game character and her involvement in the Uncharted 4 game — also from developer Naughty Dog. However, co-creator Neil Druckmann and the team opted for a younger actor in Ramsey, who in my opinion, nailed the role.
“Our casting process for season two has been identical to season one: we look for world-class actors who embody the souls of the characters in the source material,” Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin said in a prepared statement (via Variety). “Nothing matters more than talent, and we’re thrilled to have an acclaimed performer like Kaitlyn join Pedro, Bella and the rest of our family.” Abby Anderson is a very divisive character in the Last of Us universe, drawing hatred from a section of fans due to her actions in The Last of Us Part II and her muscular build, which sparked a spate of body-shaming comments. The outrage went so far that Laura Bailey, the voice actor who helmed Abby, received death threats for her role. With the backlash to the game and the character in mind, one can only hope that Dever doesn’t have to deal with similar hateful comments if and when the Abby discourse is brought up again.
The Last of Us Season 1 Review
Dever previously received praise for her performances in the Emmy-nominated Dopesick and the Hulu alien invasion movie No One Will Save You, in which she played a silent protagonist for the most part. In The Last of Us season 2, which adapts the events from the gory and polarising sequel The Last of Us Part 2, she’ll have a pivotal scene with Pedro Pascal’s Joel that leaves a lasting impact on the story. Pacal, meanwhile, has got Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel on top of his priority list; every other production will have to work around that schedule. This could also be attributed to the likely lesser screen time for the actor in the second season, where the focus is on the revenge arc between Ellie and Abby — the game intercut between the two characters to offer differing perspectives as they often trod the same paths.
Filming on The Last of Us season 2 was delayed due to the Hollywood actors’ and writers’ strike last year. The new season was greenlit merely two episodes into the debut chapter, and given the length and the ambitious scope of the video game sequel, the studio has enough material to adapt for multiple seasons. That’s what Mazin and Druckmann plan on doing with the story, having mapped out the entire affair with a slew of planned new characters in the mix. Last week, The Last of Us season 1 bagged eight awards at the Creative Arts Emmys, including an Outstanding Guest Actress award for Storm Reid and Outstanding Best Actor for Nick Offerman, who appeared in episode 3.
The Last of Us season 2 is set to begin filming in the American Spring and premieres sometime in 2025 on HBO.