Warning: This post contains spoilers for the second "The Last of Us" game — and potentially season 2.
Production on the next season of "TLOU" is expected to start in February.
It will cover at least some of 2020's sequel game and will air on HBO in 2025.
Starring Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal, the show primarily takes place 20 years after a cordyceps fungus evolves to infect humans, generating hordes of aggressive infected. Joel (Pascal), a smuggler whose daughter died during the initial outbreak, is tasked with escorting Ellie (Ramsey), an orphan who's seemingly immune to the fungus, across the country in hopes of developing a cure.
The show has earned both Pascal and Ramsey nominations at the Golden Globes and Emmy Awards, and turned them into household names. It also featured an award-winning performance from Nick Offerman, who stars along Murray Bartlett in the season's acclaimed third episode "Long, Long Time."
A second season of the HBO hit is on the way, and it's set to adapt at least part of the game "The Last of Us Part II." Here's everything we know about the new season.
'The Last of Us' season 2 will not cover all of the video game sequel
While "TLOU" season one covered the events of the 2013 game, the second season will not cover all of its 2020 sequel.
Series co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, who also created the game series, told GQ in March 2023 the events of the second game will take place over "more than one season."
There will likely be a time jump from the end of 'The Last of Us' season 1
In an interview with Josh Horowitz on the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast in February 2023, Ramsey said that while they were playing a 14-year-old Ellie in the first season of "The Last of Us," Ellie would be closer to their own age in season two.
"I'll be 20, probably by the time we shoot that, and I'll be playing 19," Ramsey said. "So yeah, I will be closer to my age."
Showrunner Craig Mazin also spoke about the possibility of a time jump with Collider, and said that there won't be any recasting as a result.
"Obviously, the time jump is important, to some extent," Mazin said. "It reflects the changing nature of Ellie's relationship with Joel, as she gets older."
Expect to see a few new major characters
In January, HBO announced three major season two castings.
Kaitlyn Dever will play Abby, who is the second protagonist of "The Last of Us Part II" and a playable character in the game. She's a member of the Fireflies, and is driven by her desire for revenge.
Isabela Merced has been cast as Dina, Ellie's love interest and eventual traveling companion who she gets to know in the Jackson settlement.
And Young Mazino, who had a breakout after starring in the Netflix limited series "Beef," will play Jesse, Dina's ex and a community leader in Jackson.
Another major character in the sequel game is Lev, a transgender teen who escapes a cult.
In February 2023, Ian Alexander, who voiced and performed the character through motion capture, told Business Insider they would love to reprise their role on the live-action series.
At the time, Alexander hadn't had any conversations about the role.
HBO hasn't announced casting for the character and it's not yet known if Lev will appear in season two. After the game's initial release in 2020, the game's developer Naughty Dog received some backlash for its handling of Lev's story.
Fans are concerned Joel could die in season 2
"The Last of Us Part II" video game is controversial among fans because Joel is unexpectedly and brutally murdered by Abby toward the start of the sequel when his past catches up with him.
In addition to playing as Ellie, gamers are forced to play as Joel's killer leading up to and after his death in the sequel. As a result, some harassed and threatened the developers, Druckmann, and voice actors for its story.
Will Joel die in 'The Last of Us' season two? It's likely
Joel's fate is the question on every fan's mind, since it's the major jumping-off point of the sequel game. Even Pascal has admitted his character's death is a possibility in season two.
"It wouldn't make sense to follow the first game so faithfully only to stray severely from the path," Pascal told Esquire in April 2023.
He added: "If that does take place in the show, I don't know that I'm emotionally ready for it."
However, Mazin told Entertainment Weekly fans can expect some changes from the sequel game in season two saying, "It's going to be different and it will be its own thing. It won't be exactly like the game."
Maybe that means there's a chance Joel could live, or at least make it to the end of season two, due to Pascal's immense popularity.
Since the second game became controversial, it's likely the show may flesh out Abby's character more before killing Joel off, if the show decides to go that route. But it would be difficult to envision season two straying from Joel's death since it's the key motivation for Ellie's path in the sequel game.
There will be more infected
In the game, players are constantly outmaneuvering and killing a robust number of the people who have been infected and taken over by the cordyceps virus. Though the infected showed up in a few key scenes, they weren't a main fixture of season one which placed a large emphasis on character relationships and world-building.
"It's quite possible that there will be a lot more infected later. And perhaps different kinds," Mazin said during a press conference for the finale in 2023.
On HBO's "The Last of Us" podcast, Mazin added that season two will likely further explore the idea of the Cordyceps hive mind and how they can be a major threat together.
"I think this next season, the interconnectivity of them, and the risk of stepping on the wrong thing, that stuff is going to be brought forward more for sure," Mazin said.
'The Last of Us' season 2 release date will probably be sometime in 2025
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