The Last Of Us Show May Stretch Part II’s Story Across Three Seasons

The Last Of Us Show May Stretch Part II’s Story Across Three Seasons

HBO’s The Last of Us live-action series is currently shooting its second season. Based on the first looks we’ve seen and the set photos that have been circulating online, the second season will likely cover the earliest sections of Ellie’s revenge tour in The Last of Us Part II. From the sound of it, HBO may be looking to expand the second game into not one, not even two, but possibly three seasons.

In an interview with Deadline, showrunners Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin confirmed that the second season of the show will include seven episodes, one of which Mazin describes as “quite big” but not “feature length.” This is two fewer episodes than season one, which covered the entirety of the first game’s events in nine episodes. This number came after “careful consideration” from the two after the decision was made to tell Part II’s story across multiple seasons.

“The story material that we got from Part II of the game is way more than the story material that was in the first game, so part of what we had to do from the start was figure out how to tell that story across seasons,” Mazin told Deadline. “When you do that, you look for natural breakpoints, and as we laid it out, this season, the natural breakpoint felt like it came after seven episodes.”

Anyone who’s played The Last of Us Part II knows what that “breakpoint” likely is. If they’re adapting the sequel into multiple seasons, it would probably make sense to end season 2 after Ellie’s three days in Seattle. This could mean that season 3 would focus entirely on Abby, the second protagonist of the game. But that’s not all of Part II, as there’s a third “chapter” of that game that could possibly be expanded into a fourth season. That structure is mostly my speculation, but given that Druckmann and Mazin expect the show to end up a four-season series, it’s not out of the question.

“We don’t think that we’re going to be able to tell the story even within two seasons [2 and 3] because we’re taking our time and go down interesting pathways which we did a little bit in Season 1 too,” Mazin said. “We feel like it’s almost assuredly going to be the case that—as long as people keep watching and we can keep making more television—Season 3 will be significantly larger. And indeed, the story may require Season 4.”

However many seasons it goes, it sounds like HBO’s adaptation won’t be a 1:1 recreation of Part II, but Mazin told Deadline that while the individual seasons may be shorter moving forward, this is so they can spend more time telling The Last of Us Part II’s story over the next few years, rather than trying to condense it all into one season.

“We just want to put people’s minds at ease that the idea that this season coming up is a little bit shorter than the first one is not because we’re taking less time to tell the stories, it’s because we want to take more time,” Mazin said. “The story that we’re telling is much bigger than the story of Season 1, there’s just a lot more going on, it’s a lot harder to produce but we want every episode to feel like its own blockbuster to be honest with you.”

While they don’t outright confirm a fourth season will happen, Mazin and Druckmann say they have the entire show mapped out up to the conclusion of Part II. So it sounds like they’re fairly certain that is the plan, for now.

“Our process was, we sketched out multiple seasons, then we did a deep dive on Season 2,” Druckmann said. “To echo what Craig is saying, there is no padding, everything that is in there is intentional. There is always a goal in mind that we’re heading towards, we are never meandering for the sake of meandering, it’s always to say something greater for these characters and the themes.”

The Last of Us’ second season is set to premiere on Max in 2025. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey will reprise their roles as Joel and Ellie, with newcomers like Kaitlyn Dever as Abby filling out the cast. Jeffrey Wright has also joined the show’s cast as Isaac, having also played the character in The Last of Us Part II.

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