Another key role from The Last Of Us for HBO’s forthcoming adaptation has been filled, with Nico Parker cast in the role of Joel’s daughter Sarah, Deadline reports. While Sarah’s role in Naughty Dog’s hit game was arguably short considering her fate within the opening minutes of the game, her death is hugely integral to Joel’s story arc, shaping his future before he meets Ellie. 

Parker’s previous work includes a breakthrough role in 2019’s adaptation of Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton, and another HBO series The Third Day, in which she played a character, ironically, also called Ellie.

Parker will be joining a growing cast list that includes former Game of Thronesstars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey (as Joel and Ellie respectively), Gabriel Luna as Joel’s brother Tommy (having appeared in Terminator: Dark FateMatador, and Agents of SHIELD), and Merle Dandridge, who’ll reprise her role as Marlene for the TV adaptation. 

Daughter to Line Of Duty actress Thandiwe Newton, Parker is also set to star in the upcoming science-fiction film Reminiscence, starring Newton, Hugh Jackman, and Rebecca Ferguson. Filming for The Last Of Us adaptation is set to begin in a matter of days with production to commence on July 5, in Calgary, Canada, and is scheduled to wrap by June 8, 2022. 

Creator of Chernobyl, Craig Mazin, is working alongside the game’s creator and director, Neil Druckmann, to bring the adaptation to life, a story that charts the journey of Joel, a hardened Boston smuggler hired to deliver an immune 14-year old girl, Ellie, to the Fireflies, in a bid to create a vaccine that could save the world.

Druckmann recently indicated that certain episodes of the series would “deviate greatly” from Naughty Dog’s source material., while both Druckmann and Mazin agreed that “the philosophical underpinnings of the story” were crucial to the adaptation’s success.