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First, it’s happening. Second, it’s happening, like, so far from now.
The first season of The Last of Us
ends exactly where the 2013 game did, too: on a hill overlooking a survival settlement, Joel and Ellie both having escaped death—but under very different circumstances—Joel delivering a lie that may soon drive both apart.
Throughout the season, the series has moved in near lockstep with its video game counterpart, diverging only a few times from its tightly plotted source material, first in a stand-alone episode about two peripheral game characters, then in another extended sequence focusing on more explored game characters, and finally in a stand-alone episode based on a downloadable follow-up to the game.
Gamers know there’s still another story to be had, given The Last of Us was followed up by a sequel in 2020, The Last of Us Part II.
If the series—co-written by the game’s writer Neil Druckmann—aspires to complete the story told in the gaming medium, it will need at least one more season to do so.
Thankfully, we’re getting that second season. Shortly after the show aired, HBO renewed the series for another season. The first episode saw about 4.7 million viewers, with the second episode jumping to 5.7—the largest second week audience jump in HBO history. In other words: if you watch it, more of it will come.
While filming has not yet begun, Pedro Pascal said in an interview with Collider that filming could star before the end of 2023.
The first season began filming in July 2021 in Alberta, Canada, wrapping in June 2022. Production may have been slowed due to Covid-19 regulations at the time; however, even after wrapping, the series required several months of post production.
Even if filming on Season 2 can begin this winter, it’s unlikely the second season will air until late 2024, if not early 2025.
All good things need time.
Pedro Pascal will likely return as Joel, and Bella Ramsey could also return as Ellie, though the character is largely aged up in the The Last of Us Part II game, so it’s possible that she could be recast with an actress who has an older look. Ramsey, who is playing a 14-year-old in Season 1, is actually already the same age as Ellie in Part II, 19. Part II finds Ellie taller, more muscular, and more hardened than her Part I character.
Production has still, however, not cast Abby, who gamers will no doubt remember from Part II.
Joshua St Clair is an Assistant Editor at Men’s Health Magazine.
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