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‘The Last of Us’ Star Merle Dandridge Is Up for a Marlene Spinoff: ‘Let’s Do It’

”There is an opportunity in, I think, every facet of this world to go a little deeper,“ the actress told TheWrap

Note: This article contains spoilers for “The Last of Us” Season 1 finale

As the first season of HBO’s “The Last of Us” comes to a close, fans of the game will now be stuck waiting for the previously greenlit second season of the post-apocalyptic drama series.

Though Marlene was killed off in Sunday’s episode, actress Merle Dandridge (who also played Marlene in the video games) told TheWrap that she would be open to continuing to explore her character’s background and friendship with Anna in a potential spinoff.

“Let’s do it,” she told TheWrap. “I think honestly, all of the characters are so beautifully and deeply drawn. There is an opportunity in, I think, every facet of this world to go a little deeper and we just touched on that with the Bill and Frank story, but there’s so much. Every character and every situation is so beautifully connected into the fabric and everyone’s experience, even the minor characters, have such difficult moral conundrums that they are contending with in the midst of all this world. And furthermore, how did they get to this place in post outbreak?  What did they have to give up sacrifice, go through, live through? What have they seen? There are so many unmentionable horrors for them to even be able to survive to this moment that we have a lot of ground to cover and I think HBO knows that and I hope that they lean into that.”

Her comments come as HBO’s adaptation of “The Last of Us” has seen strong viewership growth since the beginning of the season.

The show’s premiere marked HBO’s second-largest debut behind “House of the Dragon” since “Boardwalk Empire” premiered on the network in 2010. According to Nielsen and first party data, “The Last of Us” season 1 finale hit a series high of 8.2 million viewers,  a 74.5% increase from the premiere.

“It continues to make my jaw drop that people are so bought in and so vocal and so passionate about it. It’s like watching your best friend win. It’s like watching your best friend take it all the way to the Final Four. It’s like wow,” she added. “I have known and loved this story and these characters and the questions that it offers the viewer and the audience for so long that it feels right that a new audience is getting the opportunity to have this conversation with themselves and the interacting with the material otherwise…I’m excited that it’s being planted in such fertile soil, that it gets to reach new heights. It’s deserving because the story is that good.”

The Last of Us Season 1 is streaming now on HBO Max