A new report has offered an update on The Last of Us Season 2, potentially offering a clue as to when it may be released.
HBO struck gold with its nine-episode adaptation of Naughty Dog's post-apocalyptic PlayStation exclusive The Last of Us, so much so that Season 2 has already been ordered to adapt the sequel, The Last of Us Part 2.
The sophomore season received a disappointing release update due to the writers' strike; however, development appears to be well underway as the team had officially cast Abby - a key character in Part 2 - before the actors' strike.
The Last of Us Season 2 Becomes HBO Priority
According to a report from Deadline discussing the recent end to the writers' strike as Hollywood's scribes return to work, The Last of Us Season 2 is set to become one of three top priority projects for HBO.
The report confirmed development of The Last of Us Season 2, Euphoria Season 3, and The White Lotus Season 3 will now become the focus at HBO. The three were expected to begin writing new seasons just before the writers' strike kicked into action in May with plans for 2024 releases.
Variety stated the same, noting that the three HBO tentpoles will become the network's focus, particularly noting how development on any new projects seems to have been sidelined for the time being.
Showrunner Craig Mazin expressed in a post on Threads on the day the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) announced its tentative deal with the AMPTP that he is "excited to get back to work" on Season 2 as soon as the strike had been officially lifted - which it since has been as scribes have begun returning to work:
"Very proud of the WGA and its membership, and excited to get back to work on 'The Last of Us 'Season 2. The strike has not yet been officially lifted, but the second it is, we will spring into action!"
The Last of Us Season 2's Release Window May Have Just Been Revealed
The Last of Us Season 2 reportedly began writing in April after opening a writers' room in February. Additionally, while work was obviously halted by the WGA strikes, Craig Mazin confirmed to Entertainment Weekly the second season has been "[mapped] out," with the script for the first episode already submitted:
"We were able to map out all of season 2. And I also wrote and submitted the script for the first episode and sent it in [to HBO] around 10:30 or 10:40 p.m. right before the midnight [makes a 'kajoomph' sound] and the strike began."
Based on Mazin's comments, the writing process for Season 2 may well be a quick one now that work can finally resume, with scripts possibly complete for The Last of Us Part 2 adaptation in the next few months.
Before the writers' strike, Joel actor Pedro Pascal revealed to Collider there is "a chance" Season 2 could begin filming this year. Although Variety stated as the writers' strike began that there was "hope" for an early 2024 filming start.
Season 1 took around a year and a half from the start of production in July 2021 to the premiere in January 2023, although that was impacted heavily by COVID-19.
As Season 2 was reportedly planned to be released in 2024 before the strikes, presumably late in the year, fans can likely now expect to see the next batch of episodes kicking into gear on HBO in mid-to-late 2025.
Then again, that will depend on any potential scheduling conflicts along with SAG-AFTRA managing to reach a deal to end the actors' strike, which will then open the doors for filming to get underway.
The Last of Us is streaming now on Max.