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The Last of Us season 2: HBO confirms show will return – everything you need to know
The Last of Us season 2 is given the green light after just two episodes of the Sky Atlantic computer game adaptation.
In news that should come as no surprise, HBO has confirmed that The Last of Us season 2 is definitely happening.
We might only be two weeks into the computer game adaptation – and we’re still wiping away tears after Monday night’s episode – but the US drama has quickly become the most talked-about show on TV.
It has scored incredible ratings in the US and UK, which place it behind only House of the Dragon in HBO and Sky Atlantic’s record books. And it currently has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The critically acclaimed apocalypse series, which airs on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK, already feels like a contender for the Best TV Show of 2023.
Here is everything we know about The Last of Us season 2...
What is The Last of Us season 2 release date?
Steady on guys, season 1 is still on TV. We’re a long way off planned release dates.
Let’s just celebrate the fact that Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and Neil Druckmann (Creator of The Last of Us game) will return to make season 2.
“I’m humbled, honoured, and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey. The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast & crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations,” said Neil Druckmann.
“Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two! On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog & PlayStation, thank you!”
Craig Mazin added: “I’m so grateful to Neil Druckmann and HBO for our partnership, and I’m even more grateful to the millions of people who have joined us on this journey.
“The audience has given us the chance to continue, and as a fan of the characters and world Neil and Naughty Dog created, I couldn’t be more ready to dive back in.”
Talking to Collider, Pedro Pascal hinted that filming on season 2 would hopefully begin in 2023.
How to watch The Last of Us in the UK?
Watch every episode of The Last of Us on Sky Atlantic with NOW.
Episode 1 is available to watch for free on Sky’s YouTube channel.
How did The Last of Us season 1 end?
The Last of Us season 1 ended like the computer game with a burst of extreme violence from Joel as he removed Ellie from the hospital and Salt Lake City, killing Marlene and the Fireflies.
Joel and Ellie had spent season 1 trying to reach the hospital, but when Marlene explained to Joel that Ellie would need to die to create a cure for the virus, he refused to stand down.
After Joel massacred the soldiers and doctors at yhe hospital, he lied to Ellie that the medical team had failed to find a way to use her to create a cure.
At the end of the episode Ellie is despondant that she's failed to make a difference and also doesn't appear to entirely trust that Joel is telling her the truth.
What will The Last of Us season 2 be based on?
The show’s creators have already confirmed that The Last of Us season 1 will cover the entirety of the first computer game.
Season 2 will cover the sequel, although showrunner Craig Mazin hinted that they may need more than one season to cover all the events in the second game.
There are rumours of a third game being planned by Druckmann, which means the series could potentially continue for further seasons in the future.
Talking about her storyline in season 2, Ramsey told the Happy Sad Confused podcast: "I'm really excited, to be honest, for the Ellie/Dina story".
Talking to ComicBook.com's podcast, she added: "I'm really excited. It still feels surreal to me that it's going to go again.
"I don't want to go into it comparing it to the experience of the first season, because… Season 1 of The Last of Us was the best year of my life, and it's not going to be the same. I just have to go into it being like, 'This is season two. And I love season one, but this is just going to be different'.
"I'm really excited. I just, yeah, want to be back in Canada with Craig Mazin and Pedro Pascal for a little bit. It's going to be really nice."
The Last of Us season 2 will have more action and infected
Talking to press in an end of season 1 press conference, showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann said that they were aware of criticism from gamers that the series had toned down the quantity of zombie action.
The duo revealed that season 2 will have "a lot more infected".
"Ultimately, we generally stressed the power of relationships and trying to find significance within moments of action," said Mazin.
"And so there may be less action than some people wanted because we couldn’t necessarily find significance for quite a bit of it, or [there was] concern that it would be repetitive.
"After all, you’re not playing it, you’re watching it. And although a lot of people do like to watch gameplay, it needs to be a little more focused and purposeful when we’re putting it on TV."
The game's creator Neil Druckmann added that the triple digit kill count a player would experience on the game was "much higher" than what they wanted in the TV show.
The Last of Us season 2 cast
Ah, we’re not going to fall for that old trick and reveal who survives and who doesn't in season 1. There's no spoilers here!
But the season 1 cast includes:
- Pedro Pascal as Joel
- Bella Ramsey as Ellie
- Gabriel Luna as Tommy
- Anna Torv as Tess
- Nico Parker as Sarah
- Murray Bartlett as Frank
- Nick Offerman as Bill
- Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen
- Storm Reid as Riley
- Merle Dandridge as Marlene
- Jeffrey Pierce as Perry
- Lamar Johnson as Henry
- Keivonn Woodard as Sam
- Graham Greene as Marlon
- Elaine Miles as Florence
- Ashley Johnson as Anna
- Troy Baker as James
Talking to Elle about returning to play Ellie again, Bella Ramsey said she would be happy to play the role "forever".
"There’s no limits for me. They can do as many games as they like, as many series as they like, and I’ll be here, flying back out to Canada."
Showrunner Craig Mazin added: "To get to the end of the story in the time that we need to take to get to the proper end would be awesome. If I got to work on a set with Bella Ramsey every day for the rest of my life, I’d be thrilled."
Will Bella Ramsey still play Ellie in The Last of Us season 2
There is a timejump in The Last of Us season 2, which has prompted many questions about whether Bella Ramsey would be replaced when the show returns.
However, showrunner Craig Mazin has insisted that there was never any chance of them replacing Bella.
"People were like, 'She doesn’t look like the character'. It doesn’t matter. Just watch what happens," said Mazin.
"I think there is still this anxiety, like, this constant drumbeat of anxiety. All I can say to people is: I have so much anxiety myself, about doing a good job on this. Just know, I am also very anxious. If you’re anxious about something, I’m probably anxious about it, which means we’re talking about it and thinking about it."
He added: "We will present things, but it will be different, just as this season was different. Sometimes it will be different radically, and sometimes it will be barely different at all, but it’s going to be different. It will be its own thing. It won’t be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I want to make.""
What is The Last of Us about?
The Last of Us is based on the critically acclaimed and much-loved computer game of the same title.
It was released on PlayStation in 2013 and created by Naughty Dog.
The drama takes place 20 years after a horrifying pandemic wipes out modern civilisation.
Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone.
What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal and heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse the US and depend on each other for survival.
Stream The Last of Us weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW
More on The Last of Us
Episode 9 recap: Season 1 ending explained, giraffes and Joel's big lie
No surprise as HBO gives The Last of Us season 2 the green light
The Last of Us: All you need to know about the video game adaptation
Trivia: Casting criticism and video game bans - 16 facts about The Last of Us
All about Ellie: Bella Ramsey's best TV shows and movies in spotlight
Essential TV for 2023: 75 new and returning shows to watch this year
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