HBO’s expensive-as-heck adaptation of The Last of Us has added a new member to the cast. Anna Torv, who was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Television Award for her performance on Fringe and later starred on Netflix’s Mindhunter, will play Tess, a “smuggler and hardened survivor in a post-pandemic world,” according to Deadline. “In the original video game, Tess works with Joel to survive and smuggle weapons in and out of Boston. She also accompanies Joel on the seemingly impossible mission to smuggle Ellie to the Fireflies.”
The rest of the announced cast includes Pedro Pascal as lovable grump Joel, Bella Ramsey as survivor Ellie, Gabriel Luna as Joel’s brother Tommy, Nico Parker as Joel’s daughter Sarah, and Merle Dandridge as Fireflies leader Marlene; she played the same character in the video game. Another voice actor from the game, Jeffrey Pierce (the voice of Tommy), is also in the show, but he’ll portray a different character.
Based on Naughty Dog’s award-winning video game, The Last of Us takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed by a deadly virus. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone to the Fireflies, a cure-searching organization. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.
Torv has plenty of time for The Last of Us with Mindhunter seemingly done for good. “Listen, for the viewership that it had, it was an expensive show. We talked about ‘finish Mank and then see how you feel,’ but I honestly don’t think we’re going to be able to do it for less than I did season two,” creator David Fincher said in a pre-Mank era (last October). “You have to be realistic about dollars have to equal eyeballs.”
There will be lots of eyeballs on The Last of Us.