HBO’s The Last of Us series gets a new cast member: Merle Dandridge who will reprise her role as Marlene for the TV adaptation.
Dandridge provided the voice and motion capture for Marlene in The Last of Us and its sequel. Marlene was introduced in the first game as the leader of the Fireflies, a rebel militia opposing the quarantine zone authorities in the post-apocalyptic dystopia. Before the events of the game, she was close friends with Ellie’s mother, Anna, who died after giving birth to her daughter. Before Anna died, she asked Marlene to look after Ellie.
Earlier this year, HBO announced that Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey would headline the game-to-screen adaptation as Joel and Ellie. Gabriel Luna would later on join the cast as Joel’s brother Tommy. This makes Dandridge the first actor in the cast to be part of both the game and TV series.
Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin sits as a writer and executive producer for the series with Neil Druckmann, the game’s writer and creative director.
Dandridge has lent her voice in a number of video games, including Half-Life 2 as Alyx Vance and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End as Evelyn. She has also starred in movies and TV series such as The Flight Attendant, Sons of Anarchy, Truth Be Told, and The Night Shift.
The Last of Us follows the journey of Joel and Ellie 20 years after the Cordyceps initially broke out. Joel, alongside his partner Tess, was tasked to smuggle Ellie, who survived a bite from the infected, out of the quarantine zone.