The HBO series is adapted from the popular video game, which undergoes a five-year time jump between its first and second parts.
Thus, if the series creators stayed true to the game, Ellie would go from 14 to 19 years old between series.
“Let’s put this thing to rest,” Neil Druckmann said in an interview with co-creator Craig Mazin for Entertainment Weekly.
“The only way we would ever, ever consider re-casting Bella is if she said, ‘I don’t want to work with you guys anymore.’ And even then, we’re not sure we would grant her that. We might still force her to come back to season 2.”
Druckmann – who co-created the PlayStation game as well as the show – pointed out that Ramsey is 19 now and will be even older by the time they start shooting. She was 17 when production began on season one.
“One of the things about the casting process that’s tough is that we invite people to join us on this process, and we know everything [about the secrets of the production] and nobody else knows anything except what they know, which is the game,” Mazin said.
“We know what we’re gonna do in terms of costume and makeup and hair, but more importantly, we also know the spirit and soul of the actor.”
Mazin added that when casting was originally announced, fans complained that Ramsey didn’t look like Ellie from the game. “I’m like, ‘It doesn’t matter. Watch! Just watch what happens.’ And now they know,” he said.
“I think there is still this constant drumbeat of anxiety. All I can say to people is, I have so much anxiety myself about doing a good job on this. Just know I am also very anxious. If you’re anxious about something, I’m probably anxious about it, which means we’re talking about it and thinking about it.”
“It will be different just as this season was different [from the first game],” he continued. “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. 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 one concluded with its ninth episode on Sunday (12 March).
In his four-star review of the episode for The Independent, Nick Hilton praised Ramsey’s craft: “Ramsey, especially, is just breathtakingly convincing as a precocious yet vulnerable teenager making her way through a bearpit of a world.”
The finale also finally revealed how Ellie became immune to the Cordyceps infection.