The Last of Us TV series: story of the second game will take up multiple seasons

The Last of Us told the story of the first game in one season, but the story of The Last of Us Part II will take multiple seasons

The first season of the HBO TV series adaptation of the video game The Last of Us covered the entirety of the first game, and for the second season the show will be moving on to an adaptation of the sequel game, The Last of Us Part II. But season 2 is not going to cover the entirety of the second game. It’s going to take more than one season to tell this story.

During an interview with GQ, showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann (who was also the creative director on the video games) were asked if the next season would “span the entire course of the second game”. Mazin replied, “No. No way.” Druckmann added, “It’s more than one season.

But when asked if the story of The Last of Us Part II would cover two or three seasons, Mazin and Druckmann couldn’t give a solid answer. Mazin said, “You have noted correctly that we will not say how many. But more than one is factually correct.” And Druckmann said, “Some of the stuff I’m most excited for [in Part II] are the changes we’ve discussed and seeing the story come to life again in this other version. And I think it’s exciting because it leans into those feelings you had from the game, really heavily, in a new way.

The story of the The Last of Us video game is set years after a fungal plague wiped out much of humanity, transforming most into vicious zombie-like monsters, the story follows Joel, who’s living in a militarized quarantine zone. He has a close relationship with Tess, who operates in the black market of this community. Together, they’ve become known by the local criminal underworld for their ruthlessness. On a mission to reclaim their stolen guns, they run into the leader of the Fireflies, a resistance group, who tasks them with smuggling a young girl named Ellie out of the zone. This mission soon becomes much more than they were prepared for. 

Pedro Pascal plays Joel, who is “tormented by past trauma and failure. He must trek across a pandemic-ravaged America, all the while protecting a girl who represents the last hope of humanity”. He is joined in the cast by Bella Ramsey as Ellie, “a 14-year-old orphan who has never known anything but a ravaged planet and who struggles to balance her instinct for anger and defiance with her need for connection and belonging… as well as the newfound reality that she may be the key to saving the world”; Anna Torv as Tess, “a smuggler and hardened survivor in a post-pandemic world”; Gabriel Luna as Joel’s brother Tommy, “a former soldier who hasn’t lost his sense of idealism and hope for a better world”; Merle Dandridge as Marlene, “the head of the Fireflies, a resistance movement struggling for freedom against an oppressive military regime”; Nico Parker as Joel’s daughter Sarah; Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, “a rebel in a quarantine zone”; Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett as Bill and Frank, “two post-pandemic survivalists living alone in their own isolated town”; and Storm Reid as Ellie’s best friend Riley.

Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who did the motion-capture performances for Joel and Ellie in the video game, are also in the cast of the show. Baker plays James, “a senior member of a group of settlers who must fight to keep their community alive in the face of increasingly brutal odds.” Baker also hosts a podcast that will serve as a companion to the TV series. Johnson’s character is Anna, “a pregnant woman, alone and on the run, who must give birth under the most terrifying of circumstances.”

Mazin and Druckmann are directors on the series, as are Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole), Jasmila Zbanic (Quo vadis, Aida), Peter Hoar (Doctor Who), Jeremy Webb (The Punisher), and Liza Johnson (What We Do in the Shadows).

The Last of Us is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and game developer Naughty Dog. Druckmann serves as executive producer alongside Carolyn Strauss, Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan of PlayStation Productions, and Mazin.

I haven’t watched The Last of Us yet (or played the video games), but I have seen fans in the comments section of our articles here on JoBlo / Arrow in the Head say they felt parts of the first season felt rushed and it could have benefited from either longer episodes or more episodes. So it seems like a good thing that The Last of Us Part II isn’t going to be condensed into one season.

What do you think of the story of The Last of Us Part II playing out over multiple seasons? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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