Naughty Dog: Ellie change in TLOU to show “younger teen more fitting to the story”

Wednesday, 16th May 2012 11:40 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Naughty Dog has said the change to Ellie that was shown in the new trailer for The Last of Us last night was partly because it wanted a character that fitted more with the story.

When the game was announced at the VGAs in December, the female lead clearly had a bit inspiration from Juno and Inception actress Ellen Page.

Speaking with IGN, creative director Neil Druckmann said the change came about so it showed a “younger teen” that connected more with the plot and with the personality of the character’s actress Ashley Johnson.

“When we came up with the character of Ellie we put a lot of thought into what we wanted her to look like, researching the facial proportions, coloring and bone structures of dozens of faces and bodies. In addition to this, we held numerous casting sessions to ensure we had the right performance capture artist to represent Ellie, eventually selecting actress Ashley Johnson,” said Druckmann.

“As we’re still in the midst of development with The Last of Us, the team has been continuing to put a lot of thought into the creation of Ellie. After delving further into the game’s narrative over the past few months, we decided to modify Ellie’s model to better reflect Ashley’s personality, and also resemble a slightly younger teen more fitting to the story.

“We’re happy with the final result shown in the cinematic we have released today, and hope the fans like her too.”

For Naughty Dog, all hands are on deck for development and a massive showing at E3 in a few weeks, according to game director Bruce Straley.

“Our team has been working hard to have something ready at E3 that will please our fans. We’d love to say more, but we don’t want to spoil anything.”

Watch the brilliant looking trailer here. The Last of Us launches either at the end of this year or early next year for PS3.



  1. kingofscotland

    I really loved all 3 Unchartered games on PS3 but I’m actually looking forward to this even more, Naughty Dog does great storytelling and performance capture.

    Like Johnny, I’m looking forward to E3 just to see this – guaranteed this will be an on stage demo

    #1 3 years ago
  2. KAP

    I don’t see no difference with her? Is it just me?

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Gekidami

    ^ I’ve seen other people point it out, but i cant say the difference is hitting me over the head exactly.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. kingofscotland

    I was the same – didn’t see it at all but I can now see she is a bit younger but that’s it.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. polygem

    all good. i play the jak and daxter hd collection at the moment. these games are great fun and perfectly designed – even to todays standards. last of us looks really really awesome but i´d also love to see a naughty dog platformer again…seriously – it´s so sad that this genre kinda died. it is one of the best in gaming. to me platformers were the definition of gaming ín the early gen console aerea. i want them back please!

    #5 3 years ago
  6. kingofscotland

    @5 I agree – I just started Sly last night which was free with PS+ and I’m really enjoying it, definitely not enough of these type of games this gen.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Gekidami

    ^ Theres Sly 4.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. kingofscotland

    @ Gek Yeah looking forward to Sly 4 so going to play through the trilogy but it would be great to see more but I don’t think the likes of Ratchet has sold very well this Gen and alot of people just seem to want to play shooter after shooter.

    I like variety and all Genres from Fifa to Uncharted, to Flower to LBP to Sly to Portal.

    Naughty Dog are a great developer but i defo don’t want U4 until PS4 as I don’t want to to become stale. So I hope their other team are either working on PS4 launch game or 1 more big game for PS3 send off – like Jak and Daxter

    #8 3 years ago
  9. manamana

    “… midst of development …” Q1/2 2013 confirmed …

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Kabby

    She looks better. The previous one was ugly.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. kingofscotland

    @9 I’m willing to bank on the Uncharted release schedule of Oct/Nov

    #11 3 years ago
  12. polygem

    @6,7,8: i cannot wait for sly 4. i hope it will sell well.
    i also downloaded sly 3 from psn store. great buy…wanted to get the others as well too today but they weren´t on discount anymore:( does anyone know if i can still get the sly triology for free if i get ps plus now? i was thinking about that anyway. getting the sly cooper triology would really give me a good reason for doing that now.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. manamana

    @11 I would hope so, in terms of this year. But I can’t see that happen, with all the big guns coming at that time.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. TickleMyElmo

    “we decided to modify Katniss-no, wait, ELLIE’S model to better reflect Ashley’s personality, and also resemble a slightly younger teen more fitting to the story.”

    #14 3 years ago
  15. OrbitMonkey

    Maybe the change is because Naughty Dog believe their should be no grass on the wicket ;-)

    #15 3 years ago
  16. The_Red

    I like the new look. While the differences aren’t that huge, the previous one screamed Ellen Page and the subtle differences and similarities combined caused a bad Uncanny Valley effect.

    Now she looks more game-ish and also rather younger which fits the psuedo father / daughter relationship between characters better.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Gekidami

    Just to compare:
    Old Ellie:

    New Ellie:

    Yeah. Its quite obvious when you put them next to each other. Young Ellie has a bigger head, it would seem…

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Erthazus

    Gosh. when you start to compare these faces. It’s extremely scary.

    first version of Ellie was better, but i think they changed her because of you know… Ellen Page.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Kuwabara

    I dont even know ellen page! and who cares if she looked like her.. so they make her look younger , but why did they have to make the guy look older..

    #19 3 years ago
  20. YoungZer0

    @19: They didn’t.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Phoenixblight


    I think because Ellie looks quite a bit younger it makes the guy look a lot older because they didn’t change how he looks.

    #21 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.