Showrunners Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin have both said The Last of Us season 2 is ready to go as soon as the strikes end
Although season 2 of the HBO TV series adaptation of the video game The Last of Us (read our review HERE) isn’t expected to start airing until sometime in 2025, the actors thought they would start filming the new episodes relatively soon – possibly even by the end of this year. But then the WGA and SAG strikes hit, and the longer they go on, the more a 2023 start date seems very unlikely. With that said, showrunners Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin have both told Entertainment Weekly that The Last of Us season 2 is ready to go as soon as the strikes end.
Mazin said, “We were able to map out all of season 2. And I also wrote and submitted the script for the first episode and sent it in [to HBO] around 10:30 or 10:40 p.m. right before the midnight [makes a “kajoomph” sound] and the strike began. … 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.“
In a separate interview, Druckmann confirmed, “We’ve outlined all of season 2 and we’re ready to go as soon as the strike ends.“
Druckmann was also asked if there’s going to be a third The Last of Us video game, but he replied, “As far as the next game at Naughty Dog, I can’t say anything. My comms director over there will slaughter me.“
The story of the The Last of Us video game is set years after a fungal plague wiped out much of humanity, transforming most into vicious zombie-like monsters, the story follows Joel, who’s living in a militarized quarantine zone. He has a close relationship with Tess, who operates in the black market of this community. Together, they’ve become known by the local criminal underworld for their ruthlessness. On a mission to reclaim their stolen guns, they run into the leader of the Fireflies, a resistance group, who tasks them with smuggling a young girl named Ellie out of the zone. This mission soon becomes much more than they were prepared for.
For the HBO series, Pedro Pascal plays Joel, who is “tormented by past trauma and failure. He must trek across a pandemic-ravaged America, all the while protecting a girl who represents the last hope of humanity”. He is joined in the cast by Bella Ramsey as Ellie, “a 14-year-old orphan who has never known anything but a ravaged planet and who struggles to balance her instinct for anger and defiance with her need for connection and belonging… as well as the newfound reality that she may be the key to saving the world”; Anna Torv as Tess, “a smuggler and hardened survivor in a post-pandemic world”; Gabriel Luna as Joel’s brother Tommy, “a former soldier who hasn’t lost his sense of idealism and hope for a better world”; Merle Dandridge as Marlene, “the head of the Fireflies, a resistance movement struggling for freedom against an oppressive military regime”; Nico Parker as Joel’s daughter Sarah; Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, “a rebel in a quarantine zone”; Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett as Bill and Frank, “two post-pandemic survivalists living alone in their own isolated town”; and Storm Reid as Ellie’s best friend Riley.
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who did the motion-capture performances for Joel and Ellie in the video game, are also in the cast of the show. Baker plays James, “a senior member of a group of settlers who must fight to keep their community alive in the face of increasingly brutal odds.” Baker also hosts a podcast that serves as a companion to the TV series. Johnson’s character is Anna, “a pregnant woman, alone and on the run, who must give birth under the most terrifying of circumstances.”
The Last of Us is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and game developer Naughty Dog. Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann serve as executive producers alongside Carolyn Strauss, Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan of PlayStation Productions.
Were you a fan of the first season, and are you looking forward to The Last of Us season 2? Share your thoughts on this one by leaving a comment below.