The Last of Us casts Isabela Merced as Dina for season 2

The Last of Us casting news is coming hot and heavy! Isabela Merced will play Ellie's love interest Dina in season 2!
ELLE's 2023 Women In Hollywood Celebration Presented By Ralph Lauren, Harry Winston And Viarae -
ELLE's 2023 Women In Hollywood Celebration Presented By Ralph Lauren, Harry Winston And Viarae - / Matt Winkelmeyer/GettyImages

The floodgates are officially open for The Last of Us season 2 casting news! Earlier this week came the highly-anticipated announcement that Kaitlyn Dever (Unbelievable) will play Abby, an immensely important and controversial character from Naughty Dog's hit video game The Last of Us Part II. Then we found out that Beef star Young Mazino will play Jesse, a key member of the Jacksonville community where Joel and Ellie returned to settle down at the end of season 1.

Today we've got another big one: Variety reports that Isabela Merced will play Dina in The Last of Us season 2. Merced recently starred in Rosaline with Dever, as well as movies like Transformers: The Last Knight and Instant Family. Aside from The Last of Us, Merced also has a bunch of other big genre roles coming up, including Hawkgirl in James Gunn's Superman: Legacy, as well as Alien: Romulus and Madame Web. Dina is a great character in The Last of Us Part II, and we can't wait to see how Merced brings her to life for the small screen.

“Dina is warm, brilliant, wild, funny, moral, dangerous and instantly lovable,” said series showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. “You can search forever for an actor who effortlessly embodies all of those things, or you can find Isabela Merced right away. We couldn’t be prouder to have her join our family.”

Expect to see a lot of Bella Ramsey and Isabela Merced together in The Last of Us season 2

Like Abby, Dina plays a huge role in the events of The Last of Us Part II. She's Ellie's love interest, and a capable survivor in her own right. In the games, players typically control one character and have a second who follows them around as a companion; in the first game you played as Joel and were accompanied by Ellie, for example. Ellie is the primary playable character in The Last of Us Part II, and for a large portion of the game Dina is her companion character. So we're expecting to see a lot of Merced and Bella Ramsey (Ellie) together in the show.

And hey, it looks like they've already met! Youtuber DomTheBomb shared the above picture on Twitter of Ramsey and Merced together at ELLE's 2023 Women In Hollywood Celebration. That took place in early December, just over a month before this casting announcement. Ramsey and Merced knew what they were doing when they took that picture!

If we use The Last of Us Part II as a guide, there are still a few more important roles yet to be announced, such as Mel, Owen, Yara and Lev. Given how fast the casting news has been coming out and that the show is due to start filming season 2 in February, we'll probably hear more about The Last of Us season 2 before long.

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