Merle Dandridge, who voiced the character of Marlene in The Last of Us video game series, will reprise her role in HBO’s television series.
Merle Dandridge, who voiced Marlene in The Last of Us video game series, will reprise her role in HBO’s upcoming adaptation. Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us came out in 2013 and is considered one of the greatest games of the past decade. The game’s overwhelming popularity is due to its powerful performances, story, and overall cinematics. Its sequel, The Last of Us Part II, followed suit as one of the biggest – and most divisive – games of last year.
Co-president of Naughty Dog, Neil Druckmann, is bringing The Last of Us to HBO with the help of writer/producer, Craig Mazin (Chernobyl). The series will be PlayStation Productions’ first show and, with Druckmann spearheading the project, will honor what made the game great. For example, Gustavo Santaolalla, who composed the game’s original score will also be working on the adaptation. The series’ first season will adapt the original game following jaded smuggler, Joel (Pedro Pascal), tasked with smuggling and protecting 14-year-old Ellie (Bella Ramsey), who may be the key to saving their post-apocalyptic world. Joel and his partner, Tess, initially agree to transport Ellie after striking a deal with Marlene, the leader of a revolutionary militia known as the Fireflies.
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According to THR, Dandridge (The Flight Attendant) has signed on to once again play Marlene in The Last of Us TV series. Dandridge voiced the character in The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II. As of now, Dandridge is the first and only actor from the original video games to be involved in HBO’s adaptation. Although there aren’t many more characters left to cast, PlayStation Studios will surely announce at least a few more. Tess, who is voiced by Annie Wersching, is already confirmed to appear in the series. That said, her and fan-favorite scavenger Bill (W. Earl Brown) could easily be played by their respective voice actors. Like Dandridge, Wersching and Brown look enough like their character models for a faithful transition.
As the leader of the Fireflies, Marlene fought against military oppressive rule within the Quarantine Zones and aims to ultimately restore a form of functional government/civilization in the wake of the world’s zombie outbreak. Marlene is a longtime friend of Ellie’s mother, Anna; therefore, Marlene looks out for Ellie as a promise to her mother. Also, Joel’s brother, Tommy, who was once a member of the Fireflies, is the one who told Marlene to seek out Joel if she ever needed anything. Tommy is being played by Gabriel Luna in the series.
Voice actors, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, are beloved as Joel and Ellie. Their performances, and that of the rest of the cast, are why players feel so connected to The Last of Us’ characters. Unlike Pascal, Ramsey, and Luna, Dandridge already knows how to play Marlene—which could be a blessing or a curse. A lot of video game adaptations end up feeling like a lifeless rehash. An episodic approach to The Last of Us gives Druckmann and Mazin the chance to flesh out characters like Marlene and introduce new storylines, enriching the source material instead of merely reiterating. Filming for the show is said to begin in July and a premiere date has yet to be determined.
More: HBO’s The Last Of Us Can Expand The Game’s Story (By Not Directly Adapting It)
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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