It seems that the prayers of the fans are finally answered as the co-creator of The Last of Us has shared an exciting update about the release date of this Naughty Dog adaptation. Renewed for the second season before the finale aired on HBO, The Last of Us is HBO’s American post-apocalyptic drama television series that was released on January 15th, 2023.
The Last of Us is fully star-studded, with Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie. Garnering the reputation of being one of the biggest new television shows of 2023, it is also touted as one of the greatest video game adaptations of all time.
Spiking the anticipation of the fans, creator Craig Mazin has been quoted saying that they will be having “more than one season”, if they plan to recount the entire story of The Last of Us Part II video game. Even though HBO has clarified that “there’s no guarantee” for a season 3, the creators of the show are looking forward to the deal, it seems.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, co-creator Neil Druckmann revealed the release window for The Last of Us Season 2.
Here’s a complete breakdown of the same.
The Last of Us Season 2 release date: What did the creator say?
Speaking to EW, co-creator Neil Druckmann revealed that the second season of this greatest video game adaptation will be “ready to go” once the Hollywood strikes end. Druckmann said:
“My job is really strange, I’m given feedback on this theme park thing, I’m working on the TV show, and I’m working on another game, so I’m just kind of jumping around on different projects.”
The director further added, “We’ve outlined all of season two and we’re ready to go as soon as the strike ends.”
The last statement has got the fans reeling from joy, keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that the strikes cease to continue once the fair deal is reached so they can stream their favorite shows.
In conversation with The Washington Post, executive producer of the show Craig Mazin revealed that it took them approximately 200 days to film the first season in Canada, not to mention the additional months for post-production. Digital Spy states, “In total, it took 18 months from the date when the first scene was shot to the launch of season one on January 15th, 2023.”
We also need to take into consideration that the scripts need to be written, and the cast and crew need to be put in place. So, presuming the work begins by the end of 2023, we cannot expect the second season to air on HBO before the second quarter of 2025, provided that the strikes cease to continue and a fair deal is reached.
Actress Bella Ramsey confirmed the release window of The Last of Us season 2, saying:
“It will be a while. I think we’ll probably shoot at the end of this year, beginning of next. So it’ll probably be the end of 2024, early 2025.”
This was confirmed by the Head of HBO, Francesca Orci, who told Deadline that the second season is currently scheduled to air in 2025. However, owing to the current production status, this release schedule can also be pushed further.
What is the production status of The Last of Us Season 2?
As mentioned previously, the production of this critically acclaimed live-action adaptation of the video game has been put on hold owing to the two strikes and their failed negotiation with AMPTP.
Per Variety, the show had begun with the cast auditions in May but soon had to put the work on pause. As of now, no scripting is done, and it won’t even start until the writers’ strike ceases to continue.
As per the reports, The Last of Us Season 2 was supposed to start filming in early 2024, but given the current status, it doesn’t seem to materialize into reality anytime soon.
The Last of Us Season 2: What does Gabriel Luna have to say about the strikes?
Recently, in a conversation with Metro, Gabriel Luna, who plays Tommy in the series, commented about the current status of strikes and its impact on the series. Luna said:
‘I think it’s important for us to operate in the same way that we have [already]. We have to love it first, the way we did in that first season. And if we do that, and take great care, and commit to attention to detail in the way that we did, then one can only hope we will be able to maintain that quality.
‘We set a very high bar but we all are excited to clear it and raise it and continue to raise it.’
What can we expect to happen in The Last of Us Season 2?
In season 1, episode 8, ‘When we Are in Need’, a series of things ensure that make us question the state of humanity. While Ellie is hunting to get food, she encounters David and James, who offer her medicines in exchange for her captured meat. The next day, David and his men capture Ellie and take her to their place, where the former reveals his cavernous secrets. He reveals his cannibalistic inclination, which was completely satisfied in the dark. Ellie breaks his finger when he explains that she, too, like him, has a violent heart.
With the help of medicines, Joel is able to recover faster and soon begins his search for Ellie. Later, the viewers catch a glimpse of Joel torturing David’s men so that they can give him his whereabouts. In an interesting turn of events, Ellie murders James in self-defense, and now David is chasing her. To protect herself, Ellie murders David, too, with a butcher knife. Finally, Joel finds Ellie, and they both embrace each other in the wilderness, with the former appeasing the latter’s unstable emotional state.
After leaving things with so much tension, the season finale brings some fruition to this duo. From Ellie’s capture to David’s cannibalistic inclination, the eighth episode showcased a darker side of humanity that remains indelible in our minds. In the ninth episode, “Look for the Light”, the show underscores Joel and Ellie’s relationship as they depend upon each other more than ever as they survive in the wilderness.
Based on the above-mentioned information, we can suspect what can happen in the second season. As mentioned previously, the second season will presumably be based on The Last of Us Part II. Digital Spy contends, “It could be that the second season of the show will focus mainly on Ellie, Dina, Abby and possibly Tommy, with Joel appearing only in early episodes before he’s killed off or in flashbacks later on…”
Digital Spy’s contentions run parallel with the emphasis of The Last of Part II on Abby and Dina. Talking about Abby, Mazin said to Collider, “Anytime you talk about Abby, you start to excite certain corners of the internet. All I can say is that Neil and I will be adapting the story to television, as best we see fit. It seems likely that main characters that are crucial to the storyline would be portrayed, but no, right now, it’s too early for me to commit to anything in print, let’s put it that way.”
During an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Bella Ramsey expressed her excitement over exploring Ellie and Dina’s love story in season 2, including the impact it will have on Ellie’s relationship with Joel. She said, “I’ve watched a cut together, someone’s made a phenomenal — I don’t know how they do it — like an amazing edit of just the gameplay, like Ellie and Dina’s love story. So I’m excited to play that out.”
She further added, “[I’m excited by] the complexity of her relationship with Joel and how that gets decidedly more complex, and I’m looking forward to that. And the violence that ensues is thrilling, in a way. To get to maybe explore that in a really safe environment will be cool. But I am nervous about it, too.”
Interestingly, the creators of the show have hinted at a different Ellie who could emerge in season 2. In a conversation with Variety, Mazin stated, “We know what we’re going to do in terms of her costume and makeup and hair. But more importantly, we know the spirit and soul of the actor. She’s 19 now, which is the same age as Ellie in The Last of Us Part II… it will be different. It will be different just as this season was different. Sometimes it will be different radically… it won’t be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I want to make.”
The upcoming installment will reportedly dive deeper into the plot of the game, dealing with the exorbitant ramifications for those who are aware of what exactly happens between Joel and Ellie. In a conversation with Esquire, Bella Ramsey says, “If that does take place in the show I don’t know that I’m emotionally ready for it.”
As Esquire mentions, The Last of Us Part II is “more polarizing for audiences,”, especially for those who conform to Joel’s actions. In conversation with L’Officiel, Ramsey said, “It’s like the trolley problem. I don’t really know what I’d do. It depends on who the person was and it depends on how messed up humanity is, but I can see why Joel did what he did. Me as Bella, I’m not mad about it or mad at him, but Ellie is mad obviously because [being the cure] was her purpose. That’s what she was. She felt like she actually mattered and, ironically, Joel took away that purpose from her because she mattered so much to him.”
Who are the cast members of The Last of Us Season 2?
It’s a little tricky to determine the arrival of new characters, not only because of the paucity of information but also owing to the plot of the first game, as a majority of the first season was dependent on that. Speaking to Consequence, Mazin stated, “The first season is the events of the first game. And if you have played the game, you can tell from watching the marketing materials that we’re also covering the events of the Left Behind DLC.”
Considering that the first season has included a majority of the events played in the first game, we speculate that the second season will be based on the groundwork laid by The Last of Us Part II. The second game features both Joel and Ellie, leading us to conclude the return of Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. The second part of the game begins with a five-year time-lapse, which would suggest the arrival of grizzled hair for Pascal. This also means that Bella Ramsey would get the chance to play the role closer to her own age than she did in season one.
We suspect Joel’s brother Tommy, played by Gabriel Luna, to also reprise his role in the second season. The Last of Us Part II also introduces a new lead called Abby Anderson and Ellie’s girlfriend, Dina. Their roles remain to be cast, along with the following characters (courtesy of Digital Spy):
- Jesse (Dina’s ex-boyfriend)
- Owen (Abby’s ex-boyfriend)
- Lev and Yara (siblings who have been denounced by the Seraphite cult and who team up with Abby)
While talking about the upcoming installment of The Last of Us and whether it runs parallel to the video game’s sequel installment, which underscores Joel’s demise, Pascal says, “I don’t know. I think Part Two has more leeway. It seemed to be a different immersive experience, while things must happen for the central narrative to occur. It seems it’s a little bit more open. That means I don’t…know.” (Variety)
Is The Last of Us getting renewed for two more seasons?
At the time of writing this article, no official word has been unraveled regarding the renewal status of this critically acclaimed PlayStation game except that its second season would soon hit HBO. Be that as it might, showrunner Craig Mazin has showcased his propinquity for the show to have a season 4.
While engaged in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mazin hinted at having a third and a potentially fourth season. However, he also admitted to having “a budget bump” while talking about the production of the upcoming second season.
“There’s always a budget bump and then there’s a discussion about why it’s not enough of a budget bump. For as long as I’ve been doing this, I have never, ever, not once, been in a situation on a where I was like, ‘What I need is this’ and they’re like, ‘Okay!’ It eventually gets to this [holds hands at same level], so I’m not concerned about that.”
Unraveling the issues faced in the wake of this budget bump, Mazin spiked the attention of the viewers with what he said next:
“Even if we have a principal debate about what is required to execute a second season, a third season, a fourth season, what I always know is that they are always working in good faith and appreciate the creative value of the show. It’s not a bloodless, business only decision for them. Maybe on some level there are people for whom it is, but not for [Casey Bloys and Francesca Orsi]. They care and want to back us up.”
The tacit revelation of the future of the show couldn’t be more enticing!
To make things even more explicit, Mazin revealed that he has “laid out our vision to HBO for how this series should lay out across not one season, but multiple seasons.”
And then, finally…
“Four seems like a good number.” (We agree with that Mazin! 4 is indeed a good number)
Mazin further revealed the possible inconsistency with the future episode count of the potential seasons, saying: “Some seasons, because of the story we’re telling, will need fewer episodes and some will need more.”
No matter how many episodes are there, the fans would be thrilled by the fact that there is a future of the show (although not officially confirmed by HBO). And as Mazin said:
“I don’t know if any season will actually have the same amount of episodes. But, whatever, the number’s not important. What’s important is when they get to the end of the season, they’re like, ‘That was a good season.’”
And it sure will be!
With that being said, it’s important to keep track of the ongoing production schedules of the second season, which will definitely concretize into reality. However, the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes, which have shut down the productions of some of the high-grossing shows, have made the fans concerned over the delay of the second season.
Here’s what we know so far about the same.
For more release date updates on The Last of Us, stay tuned to Web News Observer!