‘The Last Of Us’ Casts Kaitlyn Dever As Abby And It’s A Great Choice

The conversation surrounding The Last of Us is interesting because the game’s rabid fans are just as rabid over the TV show’s casting. I remember before the first season ever went into production, and they were screaming for Maisie Williams to play Ellie, but that was before another Game of Thrones alum came along in Bella Ramsey. For weeks, the question has been who should take on arguably the most important character in season two, Abby. Rumors have swirled that the role would go to Booksmart star Kaitlyn Dever, and now those rumors have been confirmed.

The news was confirmed by Variety after dropping on Max and Naughty Dog’s social media channels. For the most part, this is amazing news. Dever has been one of the best actresses around ever since her breakout role in Short Term 12, a film that also launched the careers of Brie Larson and LaKeith Stanfield, by the way.

However, the decision has led to furious debate. Without going too far into what happens in The Last Of Us Part II, Abby is essentially the second protagonist of that game alongside Ellie. Unlike Dever, Abby is physically tough, built like a tank, which makes her the polar opposite of Ellie. When they finally confront one another, you’re meant to see and feel that disparity.

Dever is anything but physically imposing.

“Our casting process for season two has been identical to season one: we look for world-class actors who embody the souls of the characters in the source material,” said showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. “Nothing matters more than talent, and we’re thrilled to have an acclaimed performer like Kaitlyn join Pedro, Bella and the rest of our family.”

In short; they know fans are going to complain and they are getting in front of it.

Anyway, I understand fan desire to have everything stick as close to the source material as possible, but I love this casting. Abby is more than just ruggedly built, she’s mentally tough and has the attitude to match. And if Kaitlyn Dever doesn’t exactly look like Abby, she can definitely project her other attributes. The rest can be fixed through other means.

Besides, for those who have never played The Last of Us Part II and don’t know where the story goes…well, they’re going to have other things to be more concerned about.

Look for The Last of Us season two to hit HBO next year.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.