The Last Of Us Game Actor Merle Dandridge Joins HBO Adaptation
Filming is expected to get underway this July.
The Last of Us TV show has added actor Merle Dandridge to its cast, taking on the role of Marlene. The announcement, first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, demonstrates some exciting synergy between the video game franchise and the upcoming adaptation--Dandridge originated and voice acted Marlene in both 2013's The Last of Us and its recent 2020 sequel.
In the games, Marlene is the leader of the Fireflies, a rebel militia opposing quarantine zone authorities in the midst of a horrific pandemic leaving few survivors. For fans who only know Dandridge from the games (or other games including Uncharted 4 and Half-Life 2), she is well-suited to step into the live acting arena--for decades, she has worked in theater, TV, and movies. Some of her biggest TV credits include Sons of Anarchy (as Rita Roosevelt) and The Night Shift (as Gwen Gaskin).
Dandridge joins Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal (Joel) and Game of Thrones star Bella Ramsey (Ellie) in the cast. That iconic duo serves as the core relationship in different ways across both games, so it will be fascinating to see how it's delved into on the HBO version. The show will reportedly start filming sometime in July.
There is no announced release date for The Last of Us on HBO--ironically, the real-life pandemic has had an effect on casting, scheduling, and filming. If you're itching for more information, check out our rundown of everything we know so far about the show's character, story, and creative team.
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