Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have been fairly adamant that they have "no plans to tell any stories beyond adapting the game[s]," but that does not mean they cannot make small changes within those stories to further strengthen what was already there.
That means fans can expect the team to next tackle the events of The Last of Us Part II, albeit with a few unexpected twists and turns along the way.
Major Changes Coming to The Last of Us Part 2
HBO's The Last of Us showrunner Craig Mazin teased some significant changes coming to Season 2 of the series when compared to The Last of Us Part II.
In an interview with Deadline, Mazin revealed that Season 2 "won’t be exactly like the game:"
"It will be different just as this season was different. Sometimes it will be different radically, and sometimes it will be fairly different. It won’t be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I wanna make. But we are making it with Bella.”
He pointed to the "constant drumbeat of anxiety" he has for Season 2 and really just wanting to "[do] a good job on this:"
“I think there is still this anxiety, this constant drumbeat of anxiety. And all I can say to people is, I have so much anxiety myself about doing a good job on this. If you’re anxious about something, I’m probably anxious about it, which means we’re talking about it and thinking about it. We will present things, but it will be different."
Mazin told GQ on the subject that in Season 2 "there are going to be things that are going to be different, and there are things that are going to be identical:"
"Oh, it’s not lost. [both laugh] I think we know what we’re doing on this one. I’m not saying that in snarky way, I’m saying that in a hopeful way. There are going to be things that are going to be different, and there are things that are going to be identical. There are things that are going to be added and enriched. There are some things that are going to be flipped."
He added, "Our goal remains exactly what it was for the first season," in "deliver[ing] a show that makes fans happy:"
"Our goal remains exactly what it was for the first season, which is to deliver a show that makes fans happy. We’ve got an incredible returning cast. It’s a daunting task. But Jesus, so was the first season. You can’t make everyone happy. But we’ve made a lot of people happy and that’s our intention to do it again."
In a conversation with Collider, Mazin specifically touched on including some of the more 'controversial' aspects of Part II, remarking that "[He and co-showrunner Neil Druckmann] will be adapting the story to television, as best [they] see fit:"
"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."
Changes to Expect In Last of Us Season 2
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part II.
Coming off the much-celebrated first season of HBO's The Last of Us, fans are eager to see where this story will go next.
Whether someone has played Part II or this is their first time with the franchise, audiences are sitting in eager anticipation to see just what unfolds in this next batch of episodes.
Now, what exactly Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann will change from the video game remains unknown.
Series star Bella Ramsey recently made it known just how excited she is to "be back in Canada" working on the second season, possibly hinting at a reduced role for Pedro Pascal's Joel Miller in Season 2.
Knowing where this story goes, it feels like Mazin and Druckmann will keep nearly every beat from the PlayStation sequel, especially when it comes to Joel. And whatever changes are made will likely only flesh out what was already there, similar to what happened with Season 1.
The Last of Us video game and series star Troy Baker recently opined that these changes in the first season made him realize"[this is] a much bigger story than we originally conceived," and it will very likely be the same with the adaptation of Part II.
Where the TV series could deviate is in the actual narrative structure of Season 2. While Part I was fairly linear following Joel and Ellie as they traverse across the country with no flashbacks at all (except for the Left Behind DLC), Part II hopscotches around a bit more, including a number of flashbacks, and even a retreading of the game's events from the perspective of another character.
This will be a little harder to do. It can be done, and will likely take more than one season to do, but the actual chronology of Part II's story feels like the place most likely to see some major changes for Season 2 of the HBO series.
HBO's The Last of Us Season 1 is available to stream now on HBO Max with production on Season 2 potentially starting by the end of this year.