Cast, Release Window & Everything We Know So Far

2023 marks the year that the video game adaptation curse was officially vanquished, and we have HBO’s The Last of Us to thank for that. Adapting esteemed video game developer Naughty Dog’s multi-game of the year-winning masterpiece is no easy task, mainly due to the game’s beloved stories and characters and a passionate fanbase to defend them. Before the show’s release, there was reasonable apprehension among fans, given that live-action video game adaptations are notorious for being inaccurate and downright unwatchable at worst. That being said, as many fans of the show know, HBO’s The Last of Us is finally a video game adaptation done right.

In fact, The Last of Us show could easily serve as a lesson to all adaptations. The Emmy-bound series was clearly made by a cast and crew who love and respect the original source material, but HBO’s hit also isn’t afraid to deviate from the game in ways that make sense. From Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) infectious chemistry to the terrifyingly accurate Clicker zombies, not to mention a marvelous reinvention of Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank’s (Murray Barlett) relationship, the series has already made its mark on history as the best video game show adaptation ever made.

Judging from positive reviews and incredibly high ratings, critics and audiences everywhere seem to agree. Perhaps noticing the success of the show, HBO has already greenlit a second season before Season 1 even concluded. The show’s viewers are probably ecstatic by the prospect of Joel and Ellie returning to HBO Max, and suffice it to say, we here at Collider are pretty excited to see what’s in store for these characters. To find out all the details for the next chapter in The Last of Us saga, here is everything we know so far about The Last of Us Season 2.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on September 4, 2023.

Read more about The Last of Us (2023-Present):

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in The last of us poster
Image via HBO Max

The Last Of Us

Release Date

Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Merle Dandridge, Nico Parker, Nick Offerman, Storm Reid

Main Genre



The Last of Us

Characters By
Neil Druckmann, Bruce Straley

Craig Mazin, Neil Druckmann

Main Characters
Joel Miller, Ellie

Cecil O’Connor

Number of Episodes

Does The Last of Us Season 2 Have a Trailer?

A second season was only announced somewhat recently towards the end of January, so filming has not yet begun for Season 2, and we won’t likely get a good look at the season until it’s well into post-production. However, it does seem that filming for the show’s next season could very well happen sooner rather than later. In a recent interview with Collider’s own Steve Weintraub, series star Pedro Pascal didn’t give any major details on Joel and Ellie’s next appearance but did hint that “there is a chance” that the show will begin filming later this year in 2023.

Will The Last of Us Season 2 be Released on Streaming or on Cable?

Just like Season 1, Season 2 of The Last of Us is expected to arrive on both the HBO cable channel and on Max on the same day. Though the release of Season 2 is certainly a long way off, we expect that the follow-up will also premiere during HBO’s prime time slot on Sundays at 9 PM ET/PT on both the HBO cable channel and on Max. And, of course, while you wait, you can watch all of The Last of Us Season 1 on Max with the following link:

Watch on HBO Max

Does The Last of Us Season 2 Have a Release Date?

Due to the anticipated sophomore season of the show being in such early development, we don’t currently have an established release date for The Last of Us Season 2 as of now, but we can pretty safely rule out that it will premiere in 2023. Bella Ramsey confirmed that the series will likely return in 2025, saying, “It will be a while. I think we’ll probably shoot at the end of this year, beginning of next. So it’ll probably be the end of 2024, early 2025.”

That information has now been confirmed by HBO, with Francesca Orci, the Head of HBO Drama telling Deadline that Season 2 is currently projected to premiere in 2025. Of course, changes to that schedule are still possible due to the current status of the production (more below).Related:The Last of Us: What Can We Expect From Season 2?

The Last of Us Season 2: Latest Production Update

A dirty and disheveled Frank, arms up in the air in surrender in a scene from The Last of Us.
Image via HBO

Here’s the bad news: pre-production on The Last of Us Season 2 has been suspended indefinitely as a result of the ongoing WGA strike. The season had not begun filming yet, with scripts still in development, when the strike was called. You can read more about the reasons behind the writers’ strike here. The long and short of it is that unless studios across the board start paying fair wages to writers, production on many of your favorite shows, including The Last of Us, is going to be on hold for the foreseeable future. Neil Druckmann did reveal that Season 2 would start production very soon, saying: “We’ve outlined all of Season 2, and we’re ready to go as soon as the strike ends.”

Will The Last of Us Season 2 Adapt The Last of Us: Part II?

Ellie hiding from Seraphites in The last of Us Part II
Image Via Sony Interactive Entertainment

It’ll be a little while until we get some concrete details in regard to the plot of Season 2, but it doesn’t seem like a stretch to think that the new season will adapt the acclaimed video game sequel, The Last of Us: Part II (2020). Many fans of the series are more than familiar with the sequel, and its various twists and turns, but in case you were one of the many who discovered Joel and Ellie’s story through the show rather than the game, here is a brief spoiler-free summary of Part II. Keep in mind that this may include some spoilers for The Last of Us Season 1 and The Last of Us (2013) game.

Taking place five years after the events of the first game, The Last of Us: Part II introduces gamers to a very different version of Ellie (Ashley Johnson). Where the original game was Joel’s (Troy Baker) story, Part II is very much Ellie’s, as she’s easily the main protagonist of the game’s plot. Gone is the naive and rambunctious teenager, Ellie is now an adult woman who is drowning in complex emotions after learning what Joel did for her in the last game. Now estranged from her father figure, Ellie now assists in giving back to the community that Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce) and Maria (Ashley Scott) have built, but that all changes when a mysterious group of soldiers led by a woman named Abby (Laura Bailey) comes knocking on their doorstep. What the strangers do to Ellie and the rest of the community leaves them permanently scarred, leading the psychologically broken Ellie to seek revenge. With the help of her girlfriend Dina (Shannon Woodward), Ellie travels to Seattle to find the people responsible for the heinous attack against them.

While Part II received hundreds of game of the year awards, it was also far more divisive than its predecessor. So divisive in fact that it could be considered the video game equivalent of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) in regard to how split the discourse around the game was. It seemed that half of the people who played Part II praised it as a masterpiece, being a bold sequel that expertly subverts expectations and takes huge risks in its storytelling. The other half thought Part II missed what made the first game great, feeling that its treatment of certain characters was unsatisfying and rushed.

Regardless of the second game’s reception, it just makes sense that adapting it for a second season is the way forward for the series. Original game creator and series contributor Neil Druckmann also hinted that would be the case in a tweet that simply stated “Part II” shortly after the second season’s announcement. Bella Ramsey also indicated that the new season would largely focus on her rather than Joel, saying “I’m nervous about being potentially without Pedro for a while”.

Related:‘The Last of Us’ Showrunner Explains Why They’re Weaving ‘Part II’ Moments Into Season 1

Who’s Making The Last of Us Season 2?

The Last of Us Episode 9 Bella Ramsey Ellie
Image via HBO

Most of the lead creative team from The Last of Us Season 1 are expected to return for Season 2. Namely, this includes Neil Druckmann, who has been heavily involved with the series based on the game he helped create. Following the second season’s announcement, Druckmann had this to say:

I’m humbled, honored, and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey. The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast & crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations. Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two! On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog & PlayStation, thank you!

Also returning is executive producer and series creator Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) is also returning, having some similar terms of endearment ahead of the second season:

I’m so grateful to Neil Druckmann and HBO for our partnership, and I’m even more grateful to the millions of people who have joined us on this journey. The audience has given us the chance to continue, and as a fan of the characters and world Neil and Naughty Dog created, I couldn’t be more ready to dive back in.

Who’s In the Cast of The Last of Us Season 2?

Already confirmed to return are the main series stars and Game of Thrones (2011-2019) alumni Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. Pascal has become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood today, leading a whole new generation of Star Wars fans with the hit series, The Mandalorian (2019-). Bella Ramsey has also become a big force in the television world, appearing in another HBO series, His Dark Materials (2019-2022). Also expected to return for the second season are Gabriel Luna (Terminator: Dark Fate) as Joel’s brother, Tommy, and Rutina Wesley (True Blood), as Tommy’s wife, Maria, both of whom are characters who had a big role in Part II.

The Last of Part II heavily features Abby and Dina. When talking about Abby, Mazing said the following:

Anytime you talk about Abby, you start to excite certain corners of the internet. All I can say is that Neil and I will be adapting the story to television, as best we see fit. It seems likely that main characters that are crucial to the storyline would be portrayed, but no, right now, it’s too early for me to commit to anything in print, let’s put it that way.

While no actress has been cast in the role, Neil Druckmann hinted at Abby’s arrival via Twitter:

Prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike, Craig Mazin revealed that they were already in the middle of casting for Season 2.

“We’ve got a pretty good track record of making major cast announcements and people going ‘really?’ which will probably continue.”

Will The Last of Us Get a Season 3?

As many fans of the games know, there currently isn’t a The Last of Us: Part III. So, as it stands now, there’s nothing left to adapt after Part II. With that said, The Last of Us Part II is almost twice as long as the first game. Mazin talked about taking multiple seasons solely from Part II.

There’s no way to tell the remaining story in one more season. We would need more time than that. But we are also committed to moving toward a conclusion, as opposed to creating an open-ended series that goes on as long as people watch.

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