The Last of Us casts major character for season 2

The Last of Us TV adaptation has announced its most anticipated casting for season two.

The second season will follow the events of the popular video game’s sequel, The Last of Us Part II, set five years after the events of The Last of Us.

Season one starred Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie, survivors of a deadly mass fungal infection that destroyed the world.

Season two will introduce Abby, a pivotal character and the main antagonist in the PlayStation game sequel. On Tuesday (9 January), 27-year-old Unbelievable star Kaitlyn Dever was announced as the HBO adaptation’s Abby.

Her character description reads: “Abby is a skilled soldier whose black-and-white view of the world is challenged as she seeks vengeance for those she loved.”

“Our casting process for season two has been identical to season one: we look for world-class actors who embody the souls of the characters in the source material,” said showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann in a joint statement. “Nothing matters more than talent, and we’re thrilled to have an acclaimed performer like Kaitlyn join Pedro [Pascal], Bella and the rest of our family.”

Kaitlyn Dever (left) and Abby in ‘The Last of Us Part II’ (Getty Images/Naughty Dog)
Kaitlyn Dever (left) and Abby in ‘The Last of Us Part II’ (Getty Images/Naughty Dog)

Dever’s other TV credits include Last Man Standing, Justified and Dopesick; in film she has starred in features such as Booksmart, Rosaline, Next Goal Wins, and No One Will Save You. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role in Unbelievable and a Golden Globe and Emmy nomination for Dopesick.

The actor originally auditioned for the part of Ellie, The Hollywood Reporter previously revealed. TLOU season two is expected to start production in the spring following delays due to the Hollywood actors’ and writes’ strikes and will return to HBO in 2025.

TLOU was renewed almost immediately after season two concluded after gaining widespread acclaim among critics and fans, with many hailing it as the first great video game adaptation.

At the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards, which were delayed from last summer to 15 January this year due to the strikes, the series gained 24 nominations – more than any other show apart from Succession (27 nominations).

Last year, Mazin hinted that the hit series won’t end with season two.

“Our plan is to do it not just for one more season,” he said. “We should be around for a while.”

In a four out of five-star review, The Independent’s Nick Hilton called the show “a new landmark in the seemingly impossible task of adapting video games”.

“It’s too early to say whether it will satisfy the legions of fans who believe that [show co-creator and video game developer Neil] Druckmann’s survivalist game is high art, in itself. But Druckmann, working with Mazin, has his fingerprints all over this tender, well-crafted and blackly comic piece.

“Right now, HBO is simply operating on a different level to any other network. With The Last of Us, it has another monster hit on its hands.”