The Last of Us Just Made Another Smart Casting Decision
If it worked last year...
The Last of Us was lauded for faithfully adapting its source material, lifting whole scenes directly but also adding backstory to minor characters and introducing new ones when necessary. Now, as production ramps up on Season 2, new casting announcements are shedding light on just how closely the second go-around will cover The Last of Us Part II.
The latest announcement may seem like a strange choice for a post-apocalyptic prestige TV series, but it follows a smart example from Season 1. Variety reports that The Last of Us Season 2 will feature Beetlejuice and Schitt’s Creek star Catherine O’Hara in an undisclosed role. Unlike the previous casting announcements of Isabella Merced, Young Mazino, and Kaitlyn Dever, it’s not immediately clear who she’s meant to play.
There’s no clear role from the game O’Hara could play. Much like Melanie Lynskey, who played militant Kansas City rebel Kathleen in Season 1, O’Hara could be playing a new character created to add more context to the post-apocalyptic landscape than the initial game provided.
If so, The Last of Us is continuing to not just adapt its source material, but augment it. In moving from a game to a show, viewers miss out on the extra immersion of being able to control a character. Adding more depth to the world is the perfect way to compensate.
Regardless of O’Hara’s role, this is a sign The Last of Us hasn’t lost sight of what made the first season work. Part II is far more complex to the point where it can’t be contained to one season, but the same basic formula should be effective. Catherine O’Hara may feel like an odd pick for such a brutal series, but Nick Offerman was also known mainly for his comedic roles, and he broke hearts in a Season 1 episode full of original material. In Season 2, we may just see if that success is repeatable.