The HBO adaptation of The Last of Us is bringing back Merle Dandridge to reprise her video game role for the TV series. Also starring in the series are Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, and Gabriel Luna.
The story takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.
Merle Dandridge, who played Marlene in PlayStation game, will return to portray her in the live-action space. In the two Last of Us games, Marlene is the leader of the Fireflies, a resistance group that hopes to dismantle a military regime in a post-apocalyptic version of the United States ravaged by a mutated cordyceps fungus that turns people into raging zombie monsters.
The actress also voiced Marlene in the 2020 PlayStation sequel, The Last of Us Part II.
The series comes from Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin and The Last Of Us game creator Neil Druckmann. They both are set to write and executive produce the series.
Kantemir Balagov is directing the pilot episode of The Last Of Us, a co-production with Sony Pictures Television. Jasmila Žbanić and Ali Abbas will also direct other episodes in the series.
Carolyn Strauss also executive produces along with Naughty Dog president Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan of PlayStation Productions as well as Rose Lam. PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog produce the TV series, based on the video game developed by Naughty Dog exclusively for the PlayStation platforms.
Dandridge recently starred in HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant and up next she’ll next appear in Apple TV+’s Truth Be Told. Her TV credits include Greenleaf, Murphy Brown, The Night Shift, and Star-Crossed. In addition to The Last Of Us franchise, the actress has appeared in a number of other video game titles including Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Dota 2 and Half-Life 2.