The Last of Us showrunner addresses Season 2 time jump & Ellie recast

Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us show and Part 2 gameHBO/Sony

The Last of Us Part 2 featured a time jump from the previous game, so how will this happen in Season 2 of the show, and will characters like Ellie get recast?

The Last of Us is continuing to be one of the best franchises out there, with two stellar games, comics, and now an amazing first season of an HBO show. You can check out our review for the finale here, but spoiler alert: it’s great.

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Fans are now super excited – and super scared – for the upcoming second season, which will cover sequel game The Last of Us Part 2. This game features a five-year time jump, and a lot changes between then, some of which are shown in flashbacks, so many are wondering how the show will handle this.

Well, according to showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, fans don’t need to worry, as they’ve got it covered. And this included the issue of how the time jump will affect casting, as characters like Ellie will be aged up.

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The Last of Us Season 2 will follow Part 2’s time jump

Speaking with Collider, Craig Mazin explained Season 2’s time jump and flashbacks, stating that they were going to follow the pattern of the sequel game: “Of course, in the second game, there’s a primary shift in time, but there are also moments that you see, that are in between the events of the main storyline of The Last of Us Part 2 and the storyline of The Last of Us Part 1.”

The HBO show so far has maintained a level of accuracy and respect for the original game, so the second season will likely follow suit. And while it has been confirmed that Part 2 will spread across more than one season, Neil Druckmann also confirmed that they have “no plans to tell any stories beyond adapting the game.”

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Will Ellie be recast of The Last of Us Season 2?

No, Ellie will not be recast in The Last of Us Part 2, as Bella Ramsey will continue to play Ellie in Season 2. The actor is now 19 years old, so she fits the age of the character accurately.

In an interview with Deadline, Mazin discussed – and joked – about how Ramsey’s character was going to be aged up, since Ramsey looks rather young for her age: “She’s smoking six packs of cigarettes a day and is on a pure whiskey and tainted beef diet. When she joined us, she was 17. She’s only, she’s 19 now. Which by the way is the age of Ellie in The Last of Us Part 2. People were like, ’She doesn’t look like [Ellie]. I’m like, it doesn’t matter. Just watch what happens. And now they know.”

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The showrunner also explained that they would not be doing recasts ala House of the Dragon, which had a time jump of 10 years that involved the recasting of Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock to Emma D’Arcy) and Alicent (Emily Carey to Olivia Cooke).

“But no, we are not doing House of the Dragon leaps. Those were very significant leaps in age, and we don’t have that. So, no recasting will occur. Not on my watch,” said Mazin.

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But while the actor won’t be changed, a lot surrounding Ellie will be affected by the time jump, including her relationship with Joel, “Of course. I don’t want to pin anything down. Obviously, the time jump is important, to some extent. It reflects the changing nature of Ellie’s relationship with Joel, as she gets older. In the game, as you point out, she goes from 14 to 19, I believe.”

The Last of Us Season 1 is now available to stream in its entirety. You can check out the rest of our coverage here and find out more about Season 2 here.

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