Is The Last of Us Season 2 canceled?

The Last of Us Season 2 is not coming in September 2023
Credit: HBO

When will Joel and Ellie be back in action? Here is everything we know about The Last of Us Season 2.

There is no doubt that the anticipation among the die-hard TLOU fans has taken things to another level as audiences are all set to enter the next chapter in Joel and Ellie’s adventures in a collapsed society filled with zombie-like creatures that are awaiting many secrets to be unraveled, which has left them craving more details since its early renewal, prompting questions such as: 

“Will the fans be able to watch The Last of Us Season 2 in September 2023 or not?”  

So, if you want these questions answered, then we can assure you that you have reached the right place to know it all. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a brief summary of everything you can anticipate about the upcoming season, which includes the potential release date, plotline, cast, and other details. Continue reading to find out more about The Last of Us Season 2.

The Last of Us Season 2 is not coming in September 2023

The Last of Us Season 2 Release Date: When will it premiere?

Without prolonging this question any further, we want to get the first point straight to you: Unfortunately, it seems like the fans will have to wait sometime for the show to hit their television screens because there is still plenty of time left for its official comeback as the filming of the second season hasn’t even begun yet. Right now, it seems like the show is in the early pre-production stage, which calls for the completion of the scripts before any actual production can start. And, of course, no, it’s not canceled.

This makes one thing pretty clear: there is no chance for the show to premiere in September 2023! On the other hand, there is a huge chance that the show might not be aiming to return this year at all because Chief Francesca Orsi confirmed to Deadline that writing for the new season of The Last of Us, along with some other original HBO shows, has been stopped due to the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike which has impacted many major networks, thus causing a significant delay in production to fully commence without hurdles. 

The Last of Us Season 2 is not coming in September 2023

“While everything at this moment is pencils down, I’m hopeful that we can come to terms sooner than later. Otherwise, we will have to assess what is at the end of the 24 schedule, what are the shows that are going to be delivered for 2025,” Orsi said. “At this point, those shows that I’m looking to air wouldn’t necessarily be ready if this strike lasts six to nine months. So yes, that’s a big question for us, but I think we’ll cross that road once we come to it.”

Following these uncertainties, there is no chance that the network will release new updates regarding the release date this month, let alone in the remaining months of 2023. But, for your relief, we consider that the production stages might last a few months as it depends on the status of the ongoing dual strikes, due to which we speculate that the second season will likely premiere sometime around late 2024 or even early 2025 on HBO and MAX! 

Of course, this can only happen if the filming officially begins later this year. According to the British newspaper The Independent, Bella Ramsey, who plays Ellie, openly admitted that “it will be a while” until season 2 hits HBO. Further adding, “I think we’ll probably shoot at the end of this year, beginning of next,” Bella added during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show quote, “So it’ll probably be the end of 2024, early 2025.” This makes it clear that there is still a lot of time left for the second season to premiere. 

So, TLOU fans will have to be very patient and pray that no further delays will happen in the future! 

The Last of Us Season 2 is not coming in September 2023

The Last of Us Season 2 Plot: What to expect from the new season?

According to Deadline, the HBO drama’s filming for the second season is set to take place in British Columbia, including Vancouver, to continue the saga of Joel and Ellie’s adventures across the post-apocalyptic United States. The production is planned to begin in early 2024, which will be ideal for the show to make its return soon rather than delaying any further, which might impact the audience’s interest. Additionally, the producers have already teased more, bigger and more elaborate zombies next season: 

“There will be a couple of new pieces of casting, which I can’t get into. And of course, there isn’t much that we can go into on The Last of Us, given that Craig can’t really initiate in any meaningful way from a writing or casting standpoint. But he and Neil have a good sense of what it is that he’s going to be taking on. We’ll be moving the show from Calgary to Vancouver,” Orsi said. “All I can say is he’s taking a big swing from both an entertainment standpoint, related to the clickers, but also just the more nuanced, complex character dynamic between our characters, Joel, Ellie, and beyond.”

The Last of Us Season 2 is not coming in September 2023

“The Last of Us” creator and co-showrunner Neil Druckmann confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Season 2 of the Emmy-nominated HBO series is all outlined and ready to go as soon as the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes come to an end. He’s currently making the press rounds touting the new “Last of Us” attraction at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights. Further adding, “We’ve outlined all of Season 2 and we’re ready to go as soon as the strike ends,” Druckmann said. “As far as the next game at Naughty Dog, I can’t say anything. My comms director over there will slaughter me.”

“We were able to map out all of Season 2,” series co-creator Craig Mazin also told Entertainment Weekly. “And I also wrote and submitted the script for the first episode and sent it in [to HBO] around 10:30 or 10:40pm right before the midnight the [WGA] strike began.” Mazin added, “I think it’s becoming essentially a near certainty that we won’t be able to start [filming] when we were hoping to start, which is upsetting. We are all raring to go. This is what we are born to do. This is how we not only choose to live our lives, but I believe [how we] are compelled to live our lives. Otherwise, why the hell would we do this insane job? I can assure you it’s not for money.”

Creators/EPS Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann also explained the lack of infected in the first season and hinted about more infected people being involved in the second season, quoting, “I will say that even though we were greenlit for a season of television, Neil and I felt like we couldn’t just make a season of television without considering what would come after,” Mazin said. “There is more to The Last of Us to come. I think the balance is not always just about within an episode or even episode to episode, but season to season. It’s quite possible that there will be a lot more infected later.”

The Last of Us Season 2 is not coming in September 2023

The Last of Us Season 2 Cast: Who will reprise their roles?

Given that the first few episodes of The Last of Us have killed off one after another of our new favorite characters, it is difficult to predict who will emerge in Season 2. However, it’s reasonable to anticipate that Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie will be back for another season! Of course, there will be some new cast additions, which will be announced later, as the second part of the game also has new characters to move the story forward, as one character has already been hinted at by the creators!  

Recently, there were many discussions about the potential casting for Abby because when asked about whether Abby has been cast in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, co-showrunner Mazin said, “Maybe.” Further adding, “The strike stopped us in our tracks. Things were in process. Look, Abby was the first role that we wanted to tackle,” he said. “We’ve got a pretty good track record of making major cast announcements and people going, ‘Really?’ which will probably continue.”

Moreover, Ian Alexander, who portrayed Lev in 2020’s The Last of Us Part II, also expressed interest in reprising their role as Lev for the second season. We’ll just have to wait and see who will be a part of the show. Finally, the show is written and executive-produced by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. It is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television and is executive produced by Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, and Rose Lam. Production companies: PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog.

The Last of Us Season 2 Official Episode Count: Where to steam?

The next season is expected to consist of at least 9 episodes with an average runtime of 43–81 minutes, just to be consistent with the first season. Of course, this is subject to change if the network wants to make a smaller or bigger season, which will be confirmed later. We would also like to stress the fact that the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes might also drastically cause a drop in the official episode count if it isn’t resolved before the production stage for major HBO original shows starts by the end of the year. On the other hand, all details on the episode titles and synopsis will be released later, once the premiere date draws near, in order to prevent early spoilers.

For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds for the second season! 

When released, The Last of Us Season 2, along with the first season, will be available to stream exclusively on MAX (previously known as HBO Max). That’s not all. International viewers can also watch it by renting or purchasing it on Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, JioCinema, Amazon Prime, and iTunes, depending on the viewer’s location and membership plans, which simultaneously depend on the package you choose.  The series is also expected to be available on Binge in Australia and Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom. The viewers can also stream the show via VPN if the series or the streaming services are not available in their region.

The Last of Us Season 2 Official Trailer: Has it been released?

Unfortunately, the network has not yet published an official teaser or trailer, and we do not anticipate seeing one any time soon! Typically, such promotions begin about a month or two before the premiere, so there is still a lot of time left as the filming has not officially begun. 

In the meantime, catch up with the first season of this beloved show in case you haven’t as it follows, “The Last Of Us takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal and heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.”  

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, The Last of Us has an approval rating of 96% based on 467 reviews, with an average rating of 8.75/10. The website’s general consensus reads, “Retaining the most addictive aspects of its beloved source material while digging deeper into the story, The Last of Us is binge-worthy TV that ranks among the all-time greatest video game adaptations.” Metacritic calculated an average of 84 out of 100 based on 42 reviews, indicating “universal acclaim.”

Take a look at the official trailer for The Last of Us Season 1 to recap the story from the Emmy award-winning creator of Chernobyl and the creator of the acclaimed video game on MAX’s official YouTube channel below:

The Last of Us | Official Trailer | Max

The Last of Us: Will it be renewed for more seasons?

There is no doubt that the post-apocalyptic world of The Last of Us is rich in storytelling potential, and the characters are beloved by fans of both the game and the show. This presents an ideal opportunity for HBO to expand the franchise with additional seasons. The final choice to continue the show will probably depend on various aspects, including viewer engagement, critical acclaim, and the franchise’s performance in other media. 

Mazin confirmed plans for a third season if the second is successful and said the series could run for four or five in total, expecting each to have different episode counts. He is not opposed to spin-off material “in principle” but suggested he would not work on any himself. In addition to this, Druckmann also stated to GQ that Part II will require “more than one season” to tell, which kind of confirms that the third season will ultimately be considered while the development of the second season is underway to expand this universe as a major post-apocalyptic drama franchise.

He continued, “Some of the stuff I’m most excited for [in Part 2] are the changes we’ve discussed and seeing the story come to life again in this other version. And I think it’s exciting because it leans into those feelings you had from the game, really heavily, in a new way.” However, when asked how many seasons exactly it would take to adapt Part II, the creators remained hush. In conclusion, there is no reason to rule out the prospect of more seasons if the series continues to be a huge hit. 

Let us know in the comments what you expect to see in the second season of The Last of Us.