After Season 1 of the hit HBO show tackled the events of Naughty Dog's first The Last of Us game, Season 2 is set to jump right into The Last of Us Part II, with showrunners Craig Mazin and Niel Druckmann making it clear they have "no plans to tell any stories beyond adapting the game[s]."
Season 2 is set to be filmed in Vancouver BC, with no production timeline made public yet; however, it has been teased that "there is a chance" it could begin filming by the end of the year with a potential release coming by the "end of 2024, [or] early 2025."
As fans of the games may know, the events of Part II are controversial, and if someone thinks the Last of Us series team is going to skirt around those more divisive elements for the TV adaptation, they are gravely mistaken.
The Last of Us Season 2 Not Straying From the Games
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part II.
In a recent interview with Esquire, The Last of Us star Pedro Pascal addressed if his character in the series will die in Season 2 (just as he did in the opening hours of The Last of Us Part II).
When asked about the subject, Pascal coyly remarked that if it were to happen, "[he doesn't] know that [he's] emotionally ready for it:"
“If that does take place in the show, I don’t know that I’m emotionally ready for it."
The actor, who has not played the games or seen the sequence in which his character dies in Part II, added, "It wouldn’t make sense to follow the first game so faithfully" and then "stray severely from the path:"
“It wouldn’t make sense to follow the first game so faithfully only to stray severely from the path. So, yeah, that’s my honest answer. Some open secrets have to stay that way."
Showrunner Craig Mazin said on the topic that "[he doesn't] fear killing characters" but wanted to make it known that he nor his co-showrunner Neil Druckmann (who directed the first two The Last of Us games) "feel constrained by the source material:"
“This should be fairly obvious to anyone by now, but I don’t fear killing characters... But the important thing to note is that neither Neil [Druckmann, who co-created and exec-produces the series with Mazin] nor I feel constrained by the source material.”
Will Joel Die in The Last of Us Season 2?
Right now, it is unknown if The Last of Us Season 2 will kill off Joel (Pedro Pascal's character) to remain in line with the games. Despite teases that Season 2 "won’t be exactly like the game," it seems unlikely a departure as major as omitting Joel's death was made.
Pascal's co-star on the show, Bella Ramsey, recently noted that Joel would have a reduced role in the upcoming season. And the star of both the Last of Us games and TV series, Troy Baker, teased that he hopes Season 2 will be just as controversial as the "ending of Part I," which proved to be divisive amongst first-time viewers.
Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann removing Joel's death in Season 2 would require an almost from-the-ground-up narrative rebuild of Part II's story. And at that point, it would hardly be The Last of Us.
And for fans who are upset because Pascal's character looks as though he is coming to his end soon, don't worry. Just because Joel may be dead does not mean he will not play an important role in Season 2's story.
Season 1 of HBO's The Last of Us is available to stream now on HBO Max, with no known production timeline for Season 2 having been made public yet.