HBO’s The Last of Us – starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey – took aim at the idea that video games can’t make good adaptations, blew it in the face and buried it in a shallow grave.
Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin dream team and The Last of Us co-creator Neil Druckmann brought the 2013 game to life on the small screen through nine episodes of mushrooms and goodbyes.
The Cordyceps-infected mushroom monsters returned to the grave with the end of season one, but with HBO already confirming The Last of Us season two, we know they’ll soon be spreading their tendrils again.
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With that in mind, here’s everything we know about The Last of Us season 2 cast, plot, release date, and more
The cast of the second season of The Last of Us
Front and center, Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal will return as Ellie and Joel. The Cordyceps-immune slacker and his grizzled traveling companion are the core of this world, and with the ending where Joel saves Ellie from the fireflies, they’ve cemented themselves as foster father and daughter.
Despite some backlash to Ramsey’s casting, Druckmann said they are “extremely lucky to have Bella” and told a pre-finale press conference (via IGN), “The only way we could ever, ever take into The only consideration Bella could rephrase is if she says, ‘I don’t want to work with you guys anymore.’
“Even then, I’m not sure we would grant her that. We could still force her back to season two.”
As for complaints that Ramsey will be “too young” to play Ellie due to a time jump between games, Mazin assured Deadline, “When she joined us, she was 17.
“She’s only 19 now. Which by the way is Ellie’s age in The Last of Us Part II. People were like, ‘She doesn’t look [Ellie]. I’m like, it doesn’t matter. Just watch what happens.
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Going by the storyline of the games, we can also expect to see more Tommy than Gabriel Luna. Joel’s younger brother appeared in the season premiere and returned in episode 6. Here, Tommy had settled in the peaceful community of Jackson and married a woman named Maria (Rutina Wesley).
Speaking to SXSW (via Variety), Luna said she dusted off Part II and explained how Toomy will go through a “de-evolution.”
The season finale concluded with Ellie and Joel returning to Jackson, and with the shocking revelation that Maria was pregnant, we’re sure to see more of Wesley. Eagle-eyed fans have also noticed a blink of a girl they think may be Ellie’s love interest, Dina. After Druckmann got a cryptic tease that this was Dina on Twitterinvestigators discovered that she was played by a relatively unknown actor called Paolina van Kleef.
In terms of big issues, the main one is the casting of Abby Anderson. The video game version of Abby is originally a major antagonist, but she becomes the secondary protagonist and a playable character. While there was a fan campaign for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Florence Pugh to play the muscular menace, the fact that Druckmann followed The Shannon Berry of the Wilds on Instagram she has been spreading tongues saying that she has been cast in the role of Abby.
The story of the second season of The Last of Us
The first season of The Last of Us was a near-perfect adaptation of the first game, while the season finale lined up perfectly with the ending of the first game. Assuming we get a similar time jump, season 2 will pick up four years after Joel’s attack on the fireflies, with him and Ellie calling Jackson home.
Speaking of Jackson, it seems romance is in the cards for Dina and Ellie. Discussing their union, Ramsey told the Happy Sad Confused podcast: “I’m really excited, to be honest, for the Ellie/Dina story. I’ve seen a cut together, someone did a phenomenal – I don’t know how they did it, like an incredible gameplay modification, like Ellie and Dina’s love story. So I’m excited to play that.”
Despite critical acclaimed episode 3 (currently ranked as season 1’s worst) and similar pushback about Ellie and Riley’s (Storm Reid) relationship, Ramsey is strong against homophobia and supports the introduction of transgender character called Lev . The star told GQ, “If you don’t want to watch the show because it has gay storylines, because it has a trans character, it’s your fault and you’re missing out. It won’t scare me. I think it comes from a place of defiance.”
This is where things get complicated. Since Part II is a much bigger game, Druckmann and Mazin have already confirmed that its story will span at least two seasons. When GQ asked post-finale how many seasons it would take to adapt Part II, Mazin added fuel to the fire that there might even be a mythical season three of The Last of Us, stating, “You correctly noted that we won’t say how many. But more than one is actually correct.
We won’t get too far into spoiler territory, but if Part II is split into two seasons, the season 2 finale would set up perfectly for a major death from the games.
Mazin warned ComicBook.com: “It will be different. Just like this season has been different,” but we expect beats like the deaths of major characters to play out the same way. Defending differences like Bill and Frank’s story overhaul from season 1, Mazin added, “It’s not going to be exactly like the game.It will be the show that Neil and I want to do.
The Last of Us season 2 release date
Looking at the history of prestige HBO shows, the time period from season 1 to season 2 is usually between 1.5 and 2 years. Mazin confirmed that filming took 200 days to The Washington Post and said it had a “feature film-like production schedule,” while post-production meant it had been 18 months from filming the first scene to the series’ debut.
After The Last of Us broke HBO’s viewing records, the network (unsurprisingly) renewed the series for a second season in January 2023. Pascal gave Collider a glimmer of hope that filming could begin in 2023 and he simply said: “Yes, there is a possibility. YES.”
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As HBO shows like Game of Thrones have shown, there can sometimes be a long wait between seasons, and to be honest, we wouldn’t expect The Last of Us season 2 until mid-2024… if not 2025.
Remember, the first season has been pushed from its 2022 release to 2023. Rest assured, however, the next batch of episodes will grow in the dark like a crop of Sleeping Infected.
The Last Of Us S1 is available to stream NOW with an Entertainment subscription. Watch a clip below.