Yellowjackets Season 2 Casts Obi-Wan's Simone Kessell As Adult Lottie

After months of anticipation and fantasy casting, the hit Showtime original "Yellowjackets" has finally found the adult version of our Antler Queen. New Zealand actor Simone Kessell ("Obi-Wan," "Our Flag Means Death," "Reckoning") has been cast to play Adult Lottie Matthews, one of the surviving members of the 1996 Wiskayok High School Varsity Girls Soccer team following a plane crash that stranded them in the Canadian wilderness for 19 months. "Yellowjackets" explores both the aftermath of the plane crash in the 1990s when the girls were teenagers, and the present day as they all struggle to exist as adults harboring huge secrets. When we last saw Lottie (Courtney Eaton) in 1996, she had killed a full-grown grizzly bear with a single knife to the head, solidifying her place as a pseudo soothsayer and garnering a small group of dedicated followers like Van (Liv Hewson) and Misty (Samantha Hanratty).

In the present day, we've yet to see Lottie, but the season 1 finale implied that Lottie is not only still alive, but continuing her reign as a cult leader with a much bigger following. Adult Natalie (Juliette Lewis) was kidnapped from her motel room by the cult, just as a banker Nat hired to do some information digging on her behalf was leaving a voicemail asking, "Who the f*** is Lottie Matthews?" 

Well, we now have our answer. It's Simone Kessell, and the Yellowjackets hive couldn't be more excited. If we weren't all anxiously awaiting season 2 already, the confirmation that we'll be getting more time with Lottie should surely do the trick. In addition to Kessell's casting, Courtney Eaton has also been promoted to series regular, which signals a lot more Lottie for us all.

More, more, Māori!

As a proud member of the "Yellowjackets" subreddit (aka The Citizen Detectives), I can acknowledge that there are probably going to be a lot of people disappointed that fan-favorite pick and 00s it-girl Shannyn Sossamon wasn't cast as Adult Lottie, but Simone Kessell is the absolute perfect choice. While Sossamon would have fit nicely in the trend of casting '90s/'00s favorites alongside Melanie Lynskey, Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, and now Lauren Ambrose as Adult Van, Kessell is the perfect choice. Show creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson have been saying for months that they wanted to find an actor that shares similar heritage to Eaton, which is precisely what they found with Kessell.

Both Eaton and Kessell have Māori ancestry, the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand. There has been an active dedication to authentic casting and representation throughout "Yellowjackets," and it's refreshing to know that the creators made accurate ethnicity a priority in their casting decision. 

No official release date for season 2 of "Yellowjackets" has been announced, but Lyle and Nickerson have said they are hoping for an early 2023 release. They've already confirmed that this season will focus on the team's first winter in the wilderness, so an early 2023 release is the perfect time for the new season to drop.