Since January 16, 2023, a new episode of “The Last of Us” awaits us weekly. However, the audience response and the ratings were already so outstanding after episode 2 that HBO has extended the horror drama series early for season 2. Series creator Craig Mazin (“Chernobyl”) and Neil Druckmann – who, by the way, was also responsible for “The Last of Us” video game series – even have precise ideas about how long the series should accompany us.
The Last of Us Season 2: When will the sequel start?
Even before the third of the nine episodes of the first season was shown, HBO gave the green light for The Last of Us Season 2 (via Twitter):
Given the ratings of the first and second episodes, this early decision comes as no surprise: After “The Last of Us” had the second-strongest start in HBO history with 4.7 million U.S. viewers on the day of the series launch, the horror title even went one better: 5.7 million people tuned in for the second episode in the U.S., which corresponds to an audience increase of 22 percent. No other HBO series has managed that so far.
In an interview with Collider, Joel actor Pedro Pascal stated that filming could start this year. Nevertheless, fans will probably have to wait longer for the second season than most would like. Since the shooting of season 1 took about a year and the post-production time should not be underestimated, viewers should not expect The Last of Us season 2 before the end of 2024/beginning of 2025. There is no official start date from HBO yet. However, you can bridge the waiting time with our interview in which an expert evaluates the scenario of “The Last of Us”:
The Last of Us: sequel could go beyond season 2
Even before HBO gave the green light for new episodes, Craig Mazin revealed in an interview with Gizmodo what plans he had for The Last of Us Season 2:
“The first season covers the events of the first game. And if you’ve played the game, you’ll see from the marketing material that we’re also picking up the events of ‘Left Behind’ (prologue to the game, ed.). I think the amount of stories we didn’t cover would fill more than one season. […] The idea would be to produce more than one season. But it’s not going to be one of those series that lasts seven seasons.”
When referring to the aforementioned remaining stories, Mazin refers to the second game in the series, “The Last of Us Part II,” released in 2020. After that, however, Mazin added that it would be over for good:
“I’m not interested in going beyond the existing material. As a viewer, I have no problem watching series that go on and on. No problem. But as a writer, I don’t want to be in the position of spinning out new content season after season. For me, it’s important that things are purposeful, and when they’re purposeful, they have an ending. That means everything has to be carefully chosen and not just there to keep going.”
The Last of Us Season 2 Story: What will happen next?
Like Mazin before him, Druckmann made it clear that The Last of Us Season 2 (and possibly Season 3) would adapt the plot from the video game “The Last of Us Part II,” but not go beyond it (via The Hollywood Reporter):
“We don’t plan to expand the plot beyond that of the video games. We’re not going to make the same mistake as ‘Game of Thrones’ because ‘Part II’ doesn’t end with a cliffhanger.”
That would also lend itself to the fact that the second video game in the series basically tells two stories. We don’t want to anticipate anything at this point, and we’ll only reveal this much: after a failed attempt to lead a peaceful life, Ellie embarks on a cruel vendetta that blurs any boundaries between good and evil.
If you are already curious, you can get “The Last of Us Part II” as a game for the PlayStation 4 or 5. However, it would be best if you kept in mind that the series adaptation – as with season 1 – will probably make some changes compared to the gameplay.
The Last of Us Season 2 Cast: Who’s in it?
Since both Ellie and Joel have found a place in “The Last of Us Part II,” Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal should not be missing in Season 2. In addition, the first season has already “hidden” another character in episode 6, who will be important in the sequel. We’re talking about Dina, who watches Ellie from afar during her visit to Jackson. Although she is only listed as a “staring girl” in the credits, those who know Part II of the video game series will probably have recognized the hint. Accordingly, we assume that actress Paolina van Kleef will be part of “The Last of Us” Season 2 and could play a much bigger role.
Bella Ramsey, who expressed her interest in this storyline in the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, also assumes this (via YouTube): “To be honest, I’m really excited about the storyline between Ellie and Dina.”