The Last of Us season 2 casts No One Will Save You's Kaitlyn Dever in key role

Joel and Ellie stand on a roof top in The Last of Us season 1
Joel and Ellie will meet their match in Abby in The Last of Us season 2. (Image credit: Liane Henstcher/HBO)

After months of speculation, HBO has announced who'll play Abby in The Last of Us (TLoU) season 2 – and it's an unusual but nonetheless terrific choice.

In a post uploaded to Max's X/Twitter account yesterday (January 9), it was revealed that Kaitlyn Dever had been cast in the hit show's second season.

See more

It was Naughty Dog – the developer behind The Last of Us' hugely successful video game series, which HBO's TV adaptation is based on – that confirmed who Dever would play in The Last of Us season 2. Taking to X/Twitter, the studio announced that Dever had been hired to portray Abby Anderson, the deuteragonist from The Last of Part II, aka the second game in the post-apocalyptic survival series, which the show's second season is inspired by.

See more

In a joint statement via Variety, co-showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann said: "Our casting process for season 2 has been identical to season 1: we look for world-class actors who embody the souls of the characters in the source material. Nothing matters more than talent, and we’re thrilled to have an acclaimed performer like Kaitlyn join Pedro [Pascal], Bella [Ramsey], and the rest of our family."

Dever was last seen playing the lead role in Hulu's sci-fi horror movie No One Will Save You, and the more drama-fuelled role she played in that film certainly proved she has the emotional intensity to embody Abby in one of the best Max shows' sophomore season.

Let's get physical

Brynn hides from an alien in her house in No One Will Save You

Dever was last seen starring in spooky Hulu movie No One Will Save You (Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Curiously, Dever was reportedly one of the favorites to play Ellie in HBO's The Last of Us, before the role was eventually won by Ramsey. It seems, then, that the Booksmart and Last Man Standing star made a big impression on the show's creative team, which potentially led to her landing the role of Abby.

The talented actor's hiring has been hailed by many TLoU fans, as well as those involved in Naughty Dog's video game franchise and/or HBO's adaptation. However, a small minority have criticized Dever's casting, with that contingent suggesting she doesn't have the physical capabilities to portray the muscular antagonist.

With Dever standing at just 5ft 2 inches, and Abby said to be around 5ft 11 inches, such complaints appear understandable. However, Ramsey is also on the shorter side height-wise – Dever's fellow actor comes in at a little over 5ft 1 inch, which makes Ramsey shorter than Ellie is in The Last of Us Part II. Fans shouldn't worry about Dever's ability to carry off Abby's physically imposing frame either, as she's sure to undergo an intense and extensive training regime to bulk up for the role.

Concerned fans, then, shouldn't read much into Dever's capacity to deliver an engaging, heart-breaking, and physically strong performance as Abby. And, if you're really that worried, remember: few fans were convinced Pascal would do such a good job as Joel, and look how that turned out. In short: wait for The Last of Us season 2 to launch on Max in the US, one of the world's best streaming services – it'll also be available on Sky (UK) and Binge (Australia) – before drawing your conclusions.

You might also like

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.