The Last of Us boss confirms Bella Ramsey will return as Ellie in season 2

Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO
Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO /

Season 1 of The Last of Us is at an end. Now we begin the long wait for season 2, which is set to adapt the divisive sequel The Last of Us Part II (or at least part of it). One question which has floated around on the Internet quite a lot in the past few weeks is whether the series will recast Ellie for the second season, due to the fact that she’s older in the second game.

There are plenty of reasons we were skeptical of this theory, but thankfully, we no longer need to wonder. IGN reports that showrunner Neil Druckmann put the matter to rest at a recent press conference where he and fellow showrunner Craig Mazin discussed the end of the show’s debut season, and its future.

The Last of Us Episode 8
The Last of Us Episode 8 /

Bella Ramsey will return as Ellie in The Last of Us season 2

“When we made the game, I felt we were incredibly lucky,” Druckmann said. “It was like lightning in the bottle that we found Ashley Johnson. I can’t imagine that version of Ellie being anybody else. And then somehow we got lightning in the bottle again with Bella.

"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."

This is all great to hear; Ramsey was a force of nature in The Last of Us season 1, and it’d be a shame if the series didn’t bring her back. Ellie has a much darker and more adult storyline in The Last of Us Part II, which has been at the heart of all the speculation about recasting the role. But co-showrunner Craig Mazin was quick to remind people that “[Ramsey]’s 19 now, which — by the way — is the age of Ellie in The Last of Us Part II.”

The Last of Us season 2 will be “different” from the game

While recasting Ellie is thankfully off the table, there will still be other changes for fans to contend with in season 2. The Last of Us Part II is a much more narratively complex game than its predecessor, which means the show will have to make changes to adapt it for TV.

“[Season 2] will be different just as this season was different,” Mazin said. “Sometimes it will be different radically, and sometimes it [won’t] be fairly different at all, but it’s going to be different. It will be its own thing. It won’t be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I want to make, but we are making it with Bella.”

The Last of Us season 1 is available to stream on HBO and HBO Max. As for season 2, we’re guessing we’ll see it sometime in 2024.

dark. Next. The Last of Us: 8 biggest changes from the video game in season 1

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