The Last of Us season 2 will reportedly begin filming in early 2024. As per the FTIA production list, the second chapter is slated to shoot from January 7, 2024, onwards. The shooting schedule was delayed due to the Hollywood actors’ and writers’ strikes — both of which have ended now. Considering the show was not mentioned in HBO’s 2024 slate, we can assume it will be out sometime in 2025 at the soonest. This is a bit off course from what lead Bella Ramsey — who played Ellie in season 1 — suggested, at a time when there were murmurs of a potential strike. It goes without saying that the series will adapt the events from the gory and polarising sequel, The Last of Us Part II, with plans for the arc from the video game to play out for longer than a season.
It didn’t take long for HBO to greenlight The Last of Us season 2, with the announcement dropping merely 2 episodes into the debut chapter. There’s clearly a large fanbase for it and given the length and the ambitious scope of the sequel game, the studio has enough material to adapt for multiple seasons. Lead writer Craig Mazin confirmed in an interview that the team had mapped out ‘all of season 2,’ in addition to sending in the episode 1 script to HBO just before the writers’ strike began. He helmed the show with Neil Druckmann, creator of the original 2013 game, who claimed that he had no plans of recasting Ramsey since he found her portrayal of Ellie to be the ideal one. The Last of Us Part II is a longer story that explores cyclical violence, futility of revenge, and forgiveness even when consumed by relentless rage.
Think of the Kansas City arc from The Last of Us season 1 but on a broader scale with no time to breathe. “There are going to be things that are going to be different, and there are things that are going to be identical. There are things that are going to be added and enriched,” Mazin said in an interview, further hinting that we might get to see more action-oriented scenes with fungus-crazed zombies in the upcoming sequel.
A report from earlier this month suggested that leading man Pedro Pascal — who played Joel — has got Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2 as his top priority project, indicating that all other productions will have to work around that schedule. Any delays to that film could subsequently cause issues with filming The Last of Us season 2 — it’s not like The Mandalorian, where he can simply send in voiceovers while the physical performance can be taken over by someone else.
The Last of Us Part II also introduced a buff new character named Abby Anderson, who served as the antagonist for the game. Understandably, Mazin, Druckmann, and HBO have been hunting for an actress to portray the same, with an undisclosed pick made sometime in August. An InSneider report now claims that HBO is in talks with Kaitlyn Dever, best known for Booksmart and No One Will Save You, for the role. Earlier this week, The Last of Us season 1 was nominated for Best Adaptation in The Game Awards 2023, in addition to 24 Emmy nods, earlier this year.
Currently, there’s no release window for The Last of Us season 2.
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