The inaugural season of HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us came to a close this week, but thankfully we haven’t seen the last of Joel and Ellie. It’s already been confirmed that the hit show will be back for a second season, which will almost certainly cover the events in the second game.
For those who haven’t played the sequel, The Last of Us Part 2 takes place five-six years after the events of the first game. Without getting into too much spoiler territory, the game is largely a revenge story in which Ellie embarks on “a relentless journey to carry out justice and find closure.”
Following the season one finale, there’s been some discussion as to how the show will handle the time jump from the game, with some wondering if they’ll recast the role of Ellie. Addressing the topic, executive producer and Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann put this speculation to rest, confirming that he and showrunner Craig Mazin want Ramsey to return for Season 2.
"We are extremely lucky to have Bella and the stuff you saw throughout this entire season. The only way we would ever, ever consider recasting Bella is if she said, ‘I don’t want to work with you guys anymore.’ Even then, I’m not sure we would grant her that. We might still force her to come back to Season 2."
Ellie, who is 13 years old in the first season, was played by 19-year-old actor Bella Ramsey, who did an amazing job bringing the main protagonist to life on the small screen.
Ramsey’s incredible acting talent coupled with her naturally young appearance made her perfect for the role of the 13-year-old Ellie. But some now question if the actor looks too young for the time jump. In other words, in the minds of some, Ramsey doesn’t look like she’s 19 years old, which is weird because that’s exactly how old she is. Ramsey will actually be even older than the character by the time the cameras start filming for Season 2.
Costumes, makeup and hair can certainly take care of any age-related appearance challenges they may come across in season two. But what they can’t fix is the ability of of an actor to bring the character to life. Ramsey has already proven she can embody the soul and spirit of Ellie, so why would you want to recast her?