Joel and Ellie Return in ‘The Last of Us’ Season 2 First Look Images

HBO’s post-apocalyptic drama, based on the Naughty Dog video game franchise of the same name, returns in 2025

Bella Ramsey in "The Last of Us" Season 2 (HBO)

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are back in new first look images for HBO’s “The Last of Us” Season 2, which is set to debut in the first half of 2025.

Based on Naughty Dog and PlayStation’s critically acclaimed video game franchise, “The Last of Us” takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. The story follows Joel, a hardened survivor, who is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, 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.

Season 2, which began filming in February, will focus on the events of “The Last of Us: Part II,” which takes place five years after Joel and Ellie’s dangerous journey across the post-pandemic United States, where the pair has settled down in Jackson, Wyoming.

“Living amongst a thriving community of survivors has allowed them peace and stability, despite the constant threat of the infected and other, more desperate survivors,” the game’s synopsis states. “When a violent event disrupts that peace, Ellie embarks on a relentless journey to carry out justice and find closure.”

Bella Ramsey in “The Last of Us” Season 2 (HBO)
Pedro Pascal in “The Last of Us” Season 2 (HBO)

In addition to Pascal and Ramsey, Gabriel Luna returns as Joel’s brother Tommy and Rutina Wesley returns as Tommy’s wife Maria.

New cast members portraying characters from the 2020 sequel include Kaitlyn Dever as Abby, Isabela Merced as Dina, Young Mazino as Jesse, Ariela Barer as Mel, Tati Gabriella as Nora, Spencer Lord as Owen and Danny Ramirez as Manny.

Catherine O’Hara will also guest star in an undisclosed role.

“The Last of Us” is written and executive produced by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. The pair are also set to direct episodes in the upcoming season alongside new additions Mark Mylod (“Succession), Nina Lopez-Corrado (“Perry Mason”), Stephen Williams (“Watchmen”) and Kate Herron (“Loki”), and returning director Peter Hoar, who was nominated for an Emmy for Season 1’s third episode, “Long, Long Time.”

When previously asked about Season 2 in August, Mazin told TheWrap that he and Druckmann would “adapt as we see fit” and that the story of the second game “contemplates more than just a Season 2.”

“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 at the time. “We are giving ourselves the space and freedom to do it the way we think it should be done best.”

The series, which is also executive produced by Carolyn Strauss, Jacqueline Lesko, Cecil O’Connor, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan and Evan Wells, is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television. PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog serve as producers.

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