‘The Last of Us’ HBO Series Casts Merle Dandridge to Reprise Video Game Role

HBO’s “The Last of Us” is bringing back a cast member from the video game to reprise her role in the TV series.

Merle Dandridge, who played Marlene in “The Last of Us” game, will return to portray her in HBO’s adaptation of the beloved title. Marlene is the head of the Fireflies, a resistance movement struggling for freedom against an oppressive military regime.

Dandridge joins a star-studded cast that includes Pedro Pascal as Joel, Bella Ramsey as Ellie and Gabriel Luna as Tommy. “Chernobyl” creator Craig Mazin is set to write and executive produce the series alongside Neil Druckmann, a writer and creative director behind Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us” game.

“The Last of Us” takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

In addition to her voice work on the video game, Dandridge was also recently seen alongside Kaley Cuoco in HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant” as FBI agent Kim Hammond. She’ll next appear in Apple TV Plus’ “Truth Be Told” alongside Kate Hudson and Octavia Spencer. Her other past TV credits include FX’s “Sons of Anarchy,” The CW’s “Starcrossed” and NBC’s “The Night Shift.”

Dandridge also has a number of stage credits as well, starring as Pharaoh in The Manhattan Concert Productions’ presentation of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and was nominated for a Grammy for her work on the Broadway revival of “Once on This Island.” In gaming, in addition to reprising Marlene in last summer’s “The Last of Us Part II,” she’s also done voice work on “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End,” “Dota 2,” “Half-Life 2” and “Everyone’s Gone to Rapture,” for which she won a 2016 BAFTA.

Dandridge is represented by SDB Partners, CornerStone Talent Agency, Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham and Kazarian/Measures/Ruskin & Associates (KMR Talent). The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news about Dandridge.

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