The much-anticipated season 2 of The Last of Us, the hit HBO Max series based on the popular video game, will not see a recasting of Bella Ramsey, who portrays the character of Ellie.
Neil Druckmann, one of the co-creators of the series, confirmed this news to The Wrap, putting an end to speculations that arose after season 1’s finale, which aired on March 12, 2023.
“We are extremely lucky to have Bella… and the only way we would ever consider recasting Bella is if she said, ‘I don’t want to work with you guys anymore,'” Druckmann stated, “And even then, we’re not sure we would grant her that. We might force her to come back this season.”
Rumors about Ramsey’s potential recasting initially sparked among fans when they realized that season 2’s storyline, similar to the second part of the video game on which the series is based, would feature a five-year time jump.
Some online speculations suggested that Ramsey might be “too young” to portray an older version of Ellie. However, co-creator Craig Mazin dismissed these rumors. “She’s only 19 now, which by the way, is the age of Ellie in the Last of Us: Part II,” Mazin clarified in his interview with The Wrap, addressing the naysayers.
(For reference, during season 1, Ellie is depicted as a 14-year-old.)
Mazin also emphasized that HBO Max’s adaptation of The Last of Us would introduce changes from the video games, making it a unique entity of its own.
“Sometimes it will be different radically, and sometimes it will be barely different at all, but it’s going to be different, and it will be its own thing,” Mazin stated. “It won’t be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I want to make. We are making it with Bella.”
Mazin had previously spoken about how Ramsey’s casting was crucial to the show, starting from her audition process. “In my mind, I was like, if we don’t cast Bella as Ellie, then I will go to my grave knowing that we could have made a better show than we did,” Mazin revealed in an interview with Elle in January.
However, Ramsey herself had initial reservations about taking on the role. “It took a long time, actually, for me to accept that I was Ellie, and that I could be her and that I was the right fit. It took me a good while, even after we finished filming,” Ramsey told Elle.
“There are no limits for me,” Ramsey added. “They can do as many games as they like, as many series as they like, and I’ll be here, flying back out to Canada.”
However, sadly – as announced by Druckmann, the star will not play Ellie in the upcoming second season.