Elijah Wood Joins ‘Yellowjackets’ as Season 2 Begins to Take Shape

Yellowjackets, Showtime’s survival thriller about a New Jersey high school girls soccer team’s ordeal getting stranded in the Canadian wilderness, the psychological ramifications that linger into their adulthood, and the macabre mystery of just what went down during their extended exile (hint: cannibalism), became a breakout hit.

Now, following a renewal, an armful of Emmy nominations, and a whole host of Reddit theories, the second season is slowly starting to take shape. Part of the show’s charm is how it stacked its cast with actors with notable 1990s runs like Melanie Lynskey, Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis. In what already feels like a perfect choice, Variety reported that Elijah Wood will be joining the series to play Walter, a “citizen detective” who pries into Misty’s (Ricci) story. Wood showed terrific chemistry with Lynskey as an overeager neighborhood vigilante in 2017’s black comedy, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, and he can toe the line between comic and creepy with the precision of Ray Allen at the three-point arc.

Fans have been dream-casting other roles—Lynskey even got in on the fun, sharing that she’d love to see Natasha Lyonne as a grown-up Van—but so far showrunners Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson haven’t been bowing to demands: The role of Van just went to Lauren Ambrose, of Six Feet Under fame. (In a January 2022 Slate interview, Lyle said the team was aware of the online fan fervor. “We keep joking, maybe if enough people vote for someone, there can be some kind of draft situation, where you have no choice.”)

Wood and Ambrose join fellow newbie Simone Kessell (Obi-Wan Kenobi), who will play the adult Lottie, an especially critical role, considering she seems to be the leader of the cannibal cult that formed during the team’s wilderness days, and is nefariously pulling strings in the present.

In an Entertainment Weekly interview, Lyle was asked whether the cult storyline would be explored in-depth this season, and while her answer was predictably lacking in concrete details, she did seem to hint at a “yes.” “We are very much interested in exploring the theme and concept of belief and what that means for us in terms of our worldview—the way that we interact with the world around us, the way that we interact with other people, and forge those relationships. That is absolutely something that we will be investigating by means of this growing belief that has started to emerge amongst the girls in the wilderness and what that might mean in the present day,” she said.