While it was heavily and heavily implied, The Last of Us didn’t want to make it official until after the finale, where we know Ellie survives. Bella Ramsey will return as Ellie in season 2 of the show and will not be recast with an older actress.
Ramsey (who identifies as non-binary and told The New York Times she doesn’t care what pronouns people use to identify her) had previously celebrated the news of the series’ renewal for Season 2 and was excited for the adventure would go on, but up until now there has never been any official word on her continued casting. And according to the showrunners, it’s never really been a debate.
“We’re very fortunate to have Bella … and the only way to recast Bella would be if she said, ‘I don’t want to work with you guys anymore,'” showrunner Neil Druckmann told The Wrap. “And even then, we’re not sure we’d give her that.” We could force them to come back this season.”
Ramsey previously said she would love to play Ellie forever:
“There are no limits for me,” Ramsey said. “They can do as many games as they want, as many series as they want, and I’ll be here flying back to Canada.”
Debate among a subset of fans was twofold, first, that Ramsey looked too young to play an aged Ellie, who will be five years older next season when the second game is adapted. And that Ramsey couldn’t pull off Ellie’s extreme violence in the sequel.
Both arguments never made sense. Ramsey is already 19, Ellie’s age in the second game, plays a 14 year old, so she’s the right age, and with hair and makeup changes, next season she can easily see her actual age where she actually is becomes older when Ellie was in the game.
Secondly, by the conclusion of Season 1 we’ve seen the violent efforts Ramsey’s Ellie made to survive and it’s easy to imagine her amplifying that in the next season as she becomes a more hardened killer. Ramsey’s Ellie was one of the most critically acclaimed elements of a critically acclaimed show, and I think it was clear to all whose opinions mattered that there was a zero percent chance she would be recast in future seasons.
The show will weigh on Ramsey even more as she takes on an even bigger role opposite her foil Abby, which has yet to be cast despite some wish-listed fan options. Abby, like Joel and Ellie, is a hugely important, hard-to-cast role as she was a hybrid of three different women in the game, a face model, a body model and a performance capture voice actor. Now they must find someone who embodies elements of all three.
But given the casting decisions for Joel and Ellie, I think we can have confidence that they’ll make the right decision. And I can’t wait to see what Bella does next season, even if we have to wait a while before we see her again.
Update (3/14): Okay, I’ve written on this topic a few times now, and it seems that a fair amount of people are confused about the term “recast” and seem to think I’m saying the exact opposite of what’s actually in the season happens 2. I’m really trying to be as clear as possible, and I’m absolutely not trying to orchestrate a clickbait headline here, despite being accused of doing just that.
When I say an actor, in which case Bella Ramsey is “not recast,” meaning they are not replace her with another actor. I brought up this case last week in an article where I talked about how in the extreme violence role she was a key element of season 2 being incredible and I said she stood up for it that she shouldn’t be recast next season, which some people said.
“I would argue that the show built Ellie’s propensity for violence even more than the games, which I don’t think actually had a full plan for the second game when the original was made, so they didn’t know where to go they would bring Ellie. But they absolutely planted the seeds for Ellie to be a die-hard killer in future seasons of the show where we heard the second game split into season 2 and season 3 (although she’s still rooting for it the most) . .”
The confusion seems to be that people are reading this as “recast” since Bella Ramsey will not be recast or recast in the same role next season. If I were to say that, I would either say Bella Ramsey Is be recast, or more specifically, that Bella Ramsey wouldn’t Repetition your roll. Or return for her role. Or something similar.
I think part of that is me, because if I were to do the whole thing all over again, I’d say, “Bella Ramsey is 100% confirmed that she’ll be returning as Ellie next season,” so a lot of that does People that don’t misread or misinterpret the phrase “will not be recast.” Although enough people seem to understand exactly what I mean and be aware that if you reformulate the term in stories like this in the future, that’s what it’s referring to.
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