The Last of Us: Anna Torv joins cast, episode budget range revealed

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Anna Torv of Fringe and Mindhunter is the latest addition to the cast of The Last of Us, HBO's series adaptation of the popular video game. This show is clearly a high priority for HBO, as it has been revealed that every single episode will have a budget that "well exceeds" the eight figure mark.

The budget information was revealed by International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees 212 president Damian Petti as the production prepared to move to Fort Macleod in Alberta, Canada. Speaking with CTV News, Petti said, 

The Last of Us, which commences photography this week, is indeed a monster. It has five art directors and employs an army of hundreds of technicians. It has had six months of prep and shoots [in Alberta] for 12 months. I cannot confirm the official budget numbers but will say it is likely the largest project shooting in Canada. This project well exceeds the eight-figure per episode mark, so there is a multiplier effect on our economy in terms of its impact. There are hundreds of related businesses benefitting from the plethora of work."

Torv is taking on the role of Tess, "a smuggler and hardened survivor in a post-pandemic world". Entertainment Weekly reports that Tess played "a pivotal role" in the video game: 

Set years after a fungal plague wiped out much of humanity, transforming most into vicious zombie-like monsters, the story follows Joel, who's living in a militarized quarantine zone. He has a close relationship with Tess, who operates in the black market of this community. Together, they've become known by the local criminal underworld for their ruthlessness.

On a mission to reclaim their stolen guns, they run into the leader of the Fireflies, a resistance group, who tasks them with smuggling a young girl named Ellie out of the zone. This mission soon becomes much more than they were prepared for. It's unclear at this point how this backstory will translate into the show.

Torv joins a cast that includes Pedro Pascal as Joel, who is "tormented by past trauma and failure. He must trek across a pandemic-ravaged America, all the while protecting a girl who represents the last hope of humanity"; Bella Ramsey as Ellie, "a 14-year-old orphan who has never known anything but a ravaged planet and who struggles to balance her instinct for anger and defiance with her need for connection and belonging… as well as the newfound reality that she may be the key to saving the world"; Gabriel Luna as Joel's brother Tommy, "a former soldier who hasn't lost his sense of idealism and hope for a better world"; Merle Dandridge as Marlene, "the head of the Fireflies, a resistance movement struggling for freedom against an oppressive military regime"; Nico Parker as Joel's daughter Sarah; Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, "a rebel in a quarantine zone"; and Con O'Neill and Murray Bartlett as Bill and Frank, "two post-pandemic survivalists living alone in their own isolated town."

The Last of Us is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and game developer Naughty Dog. The video game's creative director Neil Druckmann serves as executive producer alongside Carolyn Strauss, Naughty Dog's Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan of PlayStation Productions, and the show's writer Craig Mazin.

The show's episodes are being directed by Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole), Jasmila Zbanic (Quo vadis, Aida), and Ali Abbasi (Border).

Source: ComingSoon,

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.