The Last of Us TV show has an actor reprising their role from the game

The Last of Us
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

An actor in Naughty Dog's The Last of Us will reprise their role for the HBO series.

As The Hollywood Reporter first reported yesterday on May 27, Merle Dandridge has been cast in HBO's adaptation of The Last of Us. Dandridge will portray Marlene, the leader of a resistance movement called The Fireflies, a role that the actor also took on in Naughty Dog's original game back in 2013.

For those unfamiliar, Marlene plays a crucial role early on in The Last of Us, essentially introducing Joel and Ellie to one another. Marlene subsequently hires Joel to smuggle Ellie out of a quarantine zone in Boston, and sets the pair on their way on a road trip across a post-apocalyptic America.

Dandridge joins a cast that's so far comprised of Pedro Pascal taking on the role of Joel, while Game of Thrones breakout Bella Ramsey steps into the role of Ellie. Last month in April, Gabriel Luna was added to the cast, set to portray Joel's brother Tommy.

Things are really picking up around The Last of Us TV show, which is actually due to begin shooting later this year in July. Recently, showrunner and former Chernobyl writer and creator Craig Mazin extended his deal with HBO by a total of three extra years, hinting at things looking up for HBO's highly anticipated adaptation.

We now know that the TV adaptation will sometimes "deviate greatly" from Naughty Dog's original game, as game director Neil Druckmann revealed earlier this year. Druckmann, who is collaborating with Mazin to write the script for the adaptation, then followed this comment up by saying that the HBO series would "re-interpret" certain parts of the game. Even if you know the ins and outs of the 2013 game from Naughty Dog, there'll still be new storytelling beats to enjoy.

For everything we know about another forthcoming adaptation of a Naughty Dog franchise, head over to our Uncharted movie guide for more.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.