Image courtesy of Netflix

The Last of Us season 2 is quickly building out its cast as the hit HBO series readies for production in the coming months. Now, yet another key character from Sony’s beloved video games has been cast as Isabela Merced (Transformers: The Last Knight, Rosaline) has been added to the ensemble as Dina, per Variety.

Merced is a rising star who has several major projects on deck this year. She’ll star in Sony’s Marvel film Madame Web, as well as the much-anticipated new Alien movie from director Fede Alvarez. The Last of Us was one of the biggest new shows to launch last year, making this a high-profile, surely coveted gig. Yet it was Merced who came out on top. Series co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann had this to say about it:

“Dina is warm, brilliant, wild, funny, moral, dangerous and instantly lovable. You can search forever for an actor who effortlessly embodies all of those things, or you can find Isabela Merced right away. We couldn’t be prouder to have her join our family.”


The character is described as “a free-wheeling spirit whose devotion to Ellie will be tested by the brutality of the world they inhabit.” Bella Ramsey plays Ellie in the show, with Pedro Pascal on board as Joel. Other recent additions to the cast include Beef breakout Young Mazino in the role of Jesse. Perhaps more importantly, No One Will Save Us star Kaitlyn Dever was recently cast as Abby. Things are decidedly taking shape.

The Last of Us takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. In the first season 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 and heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

While viewers would certainly like to see the show return sooner rather than later, last year’s Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild strikes forced Hollywood to essentially shut down for months on end. That forced HBO to hit the pause button on this show, as well as many other projects until the strikes were resolved. So we won’t be seeing the second season until next year. But it appears that things are moving swiftly in the right direction now.

The Last of Us season 2 is expected to premiere sometime in 2025 on HBO.

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