‘The Last of Us’ Season 2 to Start Filming in February

The next installment of the drama series, which stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, will focus on the Naughty Dog video game’s sequel

the last of us hbo
Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in "The Last of Us." (HBO)

HBO’s “The Last of Us” is slated to begin production on its highly anticipated second season on February 12.

The latest update comes after the network’s boss Casey Bloys told reporters last month that the show was targeting a production start in spring 2024 pending a resolution to the SAG-AFTRA strike.

The actors’ union has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, ending its 118-day strike. A ratification vote on the new contract is currently underway through Dec. 5.

“The Last of Us,” which was renewed in January and is based on Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed video game franchise of the same name, takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed.

Joel (Pedro Pascal), a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle a 14-year-old girl named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

Writing on Season 2 resumed in September after the Writers Guild of America reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP, ending its 148-day strike. That agreement was officially ratified in October.

Season 2 is expected to focus on the story of “The Last of Us: Part II,” which picks up five years later with the pair settled down in Jackson, Wyoming.

Showrunner Craig Mazin told TheWrap in August that prior to the beginning of the WGA strike, he and co-executive producer Neil Druckmann had “gone through and sort of broken a story for the season, which contemplates more than just a Season 2.”

“I did write the first episode and was able to get that in before the strike, which is good. It kind of gives something for some of our team to work on,” he added.

Mazin emphasized at the time that he and Druckmann would adapt the source material “as we see fit, to expand where we want, a bridge where we want, to change where we want, and to keep things exactly the same where we want.” 

“We’re obviously working off of a fantastic story, one of the most acclaimed video games of all time. The first was one of the most acclaimed and then the second one came along and said hold my beer and it’s pretty intense,” he said. “We are giving ourselves the space and freedom to do it the way we think it should be done best. And prior to the strike beginning, HBO was fully behind it and supportive of our vision and flexible along with us because we have a certain way we want to lay everything out.”

When asked about how specific story points from the second game would be handled, such as Joel’s arc, Mazin emphasized that he is “always careful to say that we don’t really talk about what might or might not happen.”

“Even if it’s something that feels fundamental to the source material, it might, it might not,” he continued. “I just never want to kind of passively confirm anything because we do things strangely sometimes and sometimes we do them exactly where the game is and that’ll be something that the audience will uncover and experience as it happens.”

In addition to Mazin and Druckmann, other executive producers on “The Last of Us” include include Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan and Rose Lam. The series is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television. Season 1 of “The Last of Us” has earned a whopping 24 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series.


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