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The Last Of Us Just Cast Ellie's Love Interest

The Last Of Us Just Cast Ellie's Love Interest

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

17th Jan 2022 09:07

Love is in the air in the apocalypse - oh wait, maybe that's the airborne spores of the Cordyceps infection. It's full steam ahead on HBO's gritty The Last of Us adaptation, and now, the all-star cast has added another major player.

Naughty Dog already had some impressive notches on its belt as the developer behind the OG Crash Bandicoot and bringing Nathan Drake to life with Uncharted, but arguably, its biggest hit came in 2013 with The Last of Us.

It was only a matter of time until it made the leap to the small or silver screen, meaning there's a lot of buzz surrounding the series. The packed cast already has Game of Thrones alumni Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie, however, we've now found Ellie's love interest.

Who Is Joining The Last Of Us?

For anyone who has played the first game or the Left Behind expansion, the character of Riley Abel will need no introduction. As well as being Ellie's best friend, the Left Behind prequel made the divisive decision to explore Ellie's sexuality and had her share a kiss with Riley. These repercussions have been felt in 2020's The Last of Us Part 2 and confirmation Ellie will be gay in HBO's show. 

First reported by @TheLastofUsNews, Euphoria's Storm Reid had reportedly been cast as Riley in the big-budget series. As well as Reid arriving in Canda around the time filming resumed on The Last of Us, her mother posted on Instagram and claimed Reid was part of a "popular video game turned into a television series." 

If you still weren't convinced, others noted that Reid and Ramsey also follow each other on Instagram. Aside from Euphoria, some might recognise Reid as the daughter of Idris Elba's Bloodshot in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad. As for the casting, the news was quickly confirmed by Deadline

What Does The Last Of Us Casting Mean?

Importantly, Reid playing Riley gives us some indication of which direction the show is going in. Remembering that Riley appeared in The Last of Us: American Dreams comic and Left Behind, we're guessing Ellie's backstory will be fleshed out through flashbacks. Well, it works for The Book of Boba Fett

Previously discussing Ellie's sexuality, game writer Hayley Gross told IGN, "Ellie was born gay. This is just who she is. And to explore who she is as a teenager and as an adult, it wouldn’t be honoring her character to hide some facet of herself." There were worries that the series would erase Ellie's sexuality, but when asked about it, showrunner Craig Mazin said "you have my word" about keeping Ellie gay.

Assuming we get that big kiss moment, it would neatly confirm Ellie's sexuality. LGBTQ+ themes have been a big part of The Last of Us - which is a major factor in why a small minority didn't like Part II. Thankfully, Mazin's show looks like it will stick closely to the story Naughty Dog originally told. 

 

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