Following news that the Writers’ Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have reached a tentative deal, Hollywood is starting to prepare for its comeback. While some productions were in the midst of filming when the WGA strike happened, others were in the early planning stages — like “The Last of Us” Season 2.
“Very proud of the WGA and its membership, and excited to get back to work on The Last of Us Season 2,” showrunner Craig Mazin wrote on Threads Monday. “The strike has not yet been officially lifted, but the second it is, we will spring into action!”
In a follow-up post, the writer clarified that Season 2 is still in preproduction, and writing will resume on the HBO drama series.
Mazin previously told TheWrap 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.”
At the time, he declined to say how long the strike would need to go on before the show gets delayed, but acknowledged that it was in an “interesting spot” with filming due to the story’s reliance on weather.
“Because of the way we have to work with weather where we need it and then we don’t need it, we weren’t intending to start shooting right away anyway,” he continued. “So currently we’re actually not yet at a place where we would need to push things, but we’re getting pretty close.”
Before the WGA strike can end, guild members will have to review the agreement and vote to ratify it. In addition to finishing scripts for the season, filming for “The Last of Us” Season 2 and other Hollywood productions also hinges on SAG-AFTRA reaching their own deal with the AMPTP.
The actors’ union, which began its strike on July 14, congratulated the WGA negotiating committee in a statement on Monday.
“We applaud your dedication, diligence and unwavering solidarity over the last five months and are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you as creative partners in the entertainment industry,” SAG-AFTRA added. “We look forward to reviewing the terms of the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement. And we remain ready to resume our own negotiations with the AMPTP as soon as they are prepared to engage on our proposals in a meaningful way. Until then, we continue to stand strong and unified.”
“The Last of Us” 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.
Rounding out the rest of Season 1’s main cast is Gabriel Luna (“True Detective”), who plays Joel’s younger brother and former soldier Tommy; Anna Torv (“Fringe”), who plays a smuggler and fellow hardened survivor Tess; and Merle Dandridge (“The Flight Attendant”), who reprises her role from the video game as resistance leader Marlene.
Guest stars include Nico Parker (“The Third Day”) as Joel’s daughter Sarah; Murray Bartlett (“The White Lotus”) and Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”) as Frank and Bill, two post-pandemic survivalists living alone in their own isolated town; Storm Reid (“Euphoria”) as Riley, an orphan in Boston; and Jeffrey Pierce ( “The Last of Us” video games) as Perry, a rebel in a quarantine zone.
“The Last of Us” has earned a whopping 24 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series. In addition to Mazin and Druckmann, “The Last of Us” is executive produced by Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan and Rose Lam and coproduced by Sony Pictures Television.