While HBO’s take on The Last of Us will hew as close to the games as it needs to, some changes have meant that the process of adaptation requires a few character tweaks. But while some characters and the voices behind them are making their way over directly, others are getting some new stars… and new roles for the actors replacing them.
Deadline reports that Merle Dandrige, Jeffrey Pierce, Murray Bartlett, and Con O’Neill have all been cast in the network’s adaptation of the beloved PlayStation 4 game from Naughty Dog. Dandrige and Pierce are familiar names to fans of the games, having played Fireflies resistance leader Marlene and Joel Miller’s brother Tommy, respectively, in both The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II.
But while Dandridge will reprise her role as Marlene, Pierce will now play a new recurring character called Perry, described as “a rebel in a quarantine zone.” This is because Tommy Miller is now played by Agents of SHIELD’s Gabriel Luna in the show, playing the brother of Joel, portrayed by The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal.
Bartlett and O’Neill will play two minor characters from the original game, Frank and Bill, respectively. Encountered by Joel and Ellie (Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey) in Lincoln, Massachusetts as prior associates of Joel, Frank and Bill are described for the show as “two post-pandemic survivalists living alone in their own isolated town.” In the game, it is heavily implied that Frank and Bill are queer, and were former partners before angrily drifting apart as the fungal apocalypse continued, a fact eventually clarified by game director Neil Druckmann on the franchise’s accompanying podcast series.
Currently in production, The Last of Us is currently expected to hit HBO sometime in 2022.