The hit HBO series ‘The Last of Us’ made waves when it premiered earlier this year, quickly becoming one of the network’s most watched and acclaimed shows. Now, fans are eagerly awaiting details on the upcoming second season.
Production and Release Timeline
In November 2023, HBO announced that The Last of Us is planning to begin filming its second season in early 2024. The renewal for a second season came shortly after the premiere of season one in January 2023, which drew HBO’s second highest viewership numbers ever.
Originally, HBO was targeting a 2025 release for season two. However, production delays due to ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have put that goal in jeopardy. Show creator Craig Mazin says the writing team had made significant headway on scripts before the strikes began. The first episode script was even completed. But the longer the strikes drag on, the more likely the release date will get pushed back from the 2025 goal.
Leading stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey will be returning in their lead roles as Joel and Ellie. There was some fan speculation that Ramsey could be recast for season two since Ellie ages up in the video game storyline. However, at age 20 with a youthful appearance, Ramsey should have no problem portraying an older version of her character.
No other casting information for season two has been released yet. More cast announcements will likely come closer to the start of filming. Fans are hoping recurring season one characters like Tess, Bill, and Marlene could make return appearances.
Season Two Plot Details
Full plot details are being kept under wraps for now. But the second season will pick up where season one left off and broadly follow the narrative of the video game’s sequel.
Showrunner Craig Mazin said writers have mapped out Ellie and Joel’s entire saga over multiple seasons. Like in the games, the focus will shift more to Ellie’s journey in season two as she comes into her own without Joel by her side. Their relationship was left on rocky ground in the season one finale, so fans are eager to see how Ellie and Joel come back together.
Season two is also likely to introduce key characters from the games like Tommy, Maria, and Abby. And the story will explore the warring factions of surviving humans, the military dictatorship of FEDRA, and the rebel militia group known as the Fireflies.
High Expectations for Season Two
Season one of The Last of Us received overwhelming acclaim from fans and critics alike. At the 2023 Emmy Awards, the freshman drama received seven awards, including Outstanding Drama Series.
Bella Ramsey has relished the support from video game fans who feel the show lives up to the iconic source material. As a sequel season for an already successful show, the bar for season two is set extremely high.
What We Know So Far About Season Two
While full details haven’t emerged yet, here’s a quick recap of key facts around production and plot that we know so far:
- Filming is slated to begin in early 2024 following delays from ongoing strikes
- Goal is still a 2025 release but could get pushed back depending on strike resolutions
- Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey will return as Joel and Ellie
- Season two plot will pick up where finale left off and follow the game’s sequel
- Expect evolution of Ellie’s journey and her relationship with Joel
- New character introductions likely including Tommy, Maria, and Abby
- Continued world-building around FEDRA, Fireflies, and surviving human factions