Storm Reid—who first came to prominence as the star of Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time, and who currently co-stars on HBO’s teen drama Euphoria—has signed on for another HBO project: Craig Mazin’s adaptation of video game critical darling The Last Of Us, where she’ll play a character pivotal to the backstory of lead survivor Ellie.
Specifically, Reid will be playing Riley, an old friend (and potentially more) from Ellie’s days in a Boston military orphanage. The character featured prominently in the Left Behind DLC for the original The Last Of Us, providing some levity and adorable teenage flirting to contrast the game’s typically dour approach to zombie narrative storytelling. (At least, until…)
Riley was voiced in the original game by Yaani King, who also provided the motion capture for the character. Reid joins a cast that includes Games Of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey as Ellie, a young survivor of an outbreak of a fungal infection that turns people into, basically, zombies, and Pedro Pascal as Joel, the guy tasked with transporting her across a country ravaged by the infected.
Reid’s casting is just the latest indication that HBO is formally not screwing around with this project, despite the fact that it’s a video game adaptation—a genre of film and TV projects that typically carry more than their fair share of “Screw it, the kids will eat our garbage” mentality. Mazin, obviously, is still fresh off the success of Chernobyl, and the network has been careful to bring in Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann, who helped craft the story for the critically regarded game series, to work on its narrative.
The Last Of Us reportedly began filming last year; it’ll supposedly wrap up filming in June of this year. No word yet when, exactly, the show’s 10-episode first season can be expected to arrive at HBO.