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Sorry, The Last of Us season 2 isn’t coming any time soon

The season one finale of The Last of Us had us all reeling, but we're going to have a long, painful wait until the second season comes out.

Bella Ramsey as Ellie and Pedro Pascal as Joel in The Last of Us

There’s disappointing, if unsurprising news for fans of post-apocalyptic HBO series The Last of Us, as season 2 probably won’t be ready until 2025. The second season is expected to go into production in early 2024. The first season took the best part of a year to film, but the second season should hopefully go quicker.

The strike action of 2023 has led to inevitable delays with nearly all TV shows, and The Last of Us is no exception. The videogame adaptation was a critical and popular success when it debuted in January 2023. Anticipation is extremely high for the second season, as fans of the game know where the storyline will be headed.

We can’t wait to meet new The Last of Us characters such as Abby Anderson, who we know will feature prominently in the second season. Creator Neil Druckmann already has the second season mapped out, and his fellow showrunner Craig Mazin has already submitted the script for the first episode. Things should be able to move quickly once the Hollywood actors strike lifts. If it follows the games, season two is set around four years after the first.

“We’ve outlined all of season 2 and we’re ready to go as soon as the strike ends,” Druckmann told EW in September 2023. “We were able to map out all of season 2. And I also wrote and submitted the script for the first episode and sent it in [to HBO] around 10:30 or 10:40 p.m. right before midnight and the [WGA] strike began,” Mazin said at the end of August.

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“I think it’s becoming essentially a near certainty that we won’t be able to start [filming] when we were hoping to start, which is upsetting. We are all raring to go,” Mazin added.

Even if the strikes had not happened, we would still have had a substantial wait between seasons. The Last of Us is one of the largest scale productions to ever film in Canada, and is one of the most expensive HBO series of all time. They could potentially reuse some sets from the first season, which would be the only thing to make season two move faster.

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After the shocking finale in episode 9 of The Last of Us season one, it’s going to be an agonizing wait before we can catch up with Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey). Ellie could provide hope to humanity’s ability to fight the Cordyceps fungus that is plaguing the world, but it may potentially involve sacrificing herself – something that Joel will not accept.

Pascal and Ramsey will of course return for the second season, and Gabriel Luna’s Tommy will also have an important role to play. We’re very eager to find out who will join The Last of Us cast as Abby, who has one of the main roles in Part II, as well as Ellie’s girlfriend Dina. Other important characters will be Yara and Lev, siblings who are part of a cult called the Seraphites.

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While there are currently only two parts of The Last of Us game, Craig Mazin has said that the series could definitely go on for longer than two seasons. “Our plan is to do it not just for one more season. We should be around for a while,” he told Deadline in April 2023, before adding there is “quite a bit of story to tell.”

The first season of The Last of Us was nominated for an astonishing 24 Emmys, but the ceremony has been postponed due to the strikes. HBO has also said that it’s likely that The White Lotus season 3 won’t arrive until 2025. The only good news is for House of the Dragon season 2 which managed to film during 2023 because of being based in Europe under different unions. It’s expected in early summer 2024.

Check out our The Last of Us TV series review for more. We’re also excited for Reacher season 2, which thankfully won’t be delayed by the strikes.